New Zealand went down cheaply in 2nd innings but still much work left to do for India in the match.
A fascinating contest was in the offer today thanks to some brilliant bowling from both the teams in a pitch that is still good to bat. New Zealand who after holding on to advantage for most part of the day with Tim Southee taking seven wickets earlier to bowl out India, let the match go away in last session of play. New Zealand in all but nearly over in their 2nd innings batting as they lost 9 wickets at the end of day’s play. Jeetan Patel, 10* and Trent Boult 0* would well do to add more runs tomorrow morning to the total of 232 runs.
Ashwin after having quiet 1st innings, came to party today by taking another five wicket haul in the series. He was well supported by Ojha and Umesh Yadav, who both took two wickets each. Umesh Yadav got the lucky first break for India as Guptil played on the full toss ball to the stumps before he sent down a beauty to McCullum, who poked tentatively to a swinging ball outside the off-stump and was duly caught by keeper Dhoni for 23 runs. New Zealand must rue looking at the scorecard that five of their top seven batsmen got starts yet none went on to make big score and rather surrendered down meekly thanks to some careless approach. Their batsmens just not learned from their previous dismissals, as most got out again in similar fashion; Guptill not learning in to hit the ball, Kane Williamson trying to cut a ball close to his stumps, Taylor sweeping the fuller length ball and Van Wyk walking across, missed the ball and trapped plumb in front. Flynn and Franklin looked quite assured for awhile but poor shot selection and Ashwin, who kept probing with good balls undone them.
Earlier Virat Kohli scored his second test century and Dhoni completed his fifty before Tim Southee hunted them down. After bowling so many out-swingers, Southee bowled one with scramble seam to make the ball go with angle and Kohli surprisingly misjudged the ball completely, as he offered no shot to it. Dhoni was also dismissed in similar fashion, difference being ball in line and Dhoni trying to play it. Then a steaming bouncer tangled Zaheer to glove it and good length ball forced the edge from Ojha bat to keeper. Then a phase of good batting from Ashwin and blocking from Yadav reduced the trail from 45 to 12 runs for India. Boult finally got his well deserved wicket for his brilliant bowling throughout to end India’s first innings. Tim Southee career best figure of 7/64 is also the best for any New Zealand bowlers in India and third best in overall.
Anything in the range of 250 runs is a stiff target to chase down in this ground and with cracks in pitch starting to break up now, India have their task cut down. But their record chase of 207 runs here in fourth innings last time against Australia, will give Indian batsmens lots of confidence.