NZ vs Ind, 1st Test: India face a tricky chase of 407 at Auckland against New Zealand
In pursuit of a stiff target of 407 in the fourth innings, Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara put on an unbeaten 51 run partnership to take India to 87 for one at the close of play in the first Test against New Zealand at Eden Park which is now delicately poised after chaotic third day saw India’s bowler register a strong comeback in New Zealand’s second innings to skittle hosts for 105 all out and give their batters a shot at victory on Saturday.
Tim Southee claimed the only wicket to fall in India’s second innings when Murali Vijay (13) got a faint touch to a leg-side delivery and wicketkeeper BJ Watling held a diving catch to reduce the visitors to 36 for one.
Dhawan, who is currently out of form, settled down to finish the day on 49 not out while Pujara was on 22 with India needing a further 320 runs in two days, weather permitting of course, to complete an improbable victory.
Earlier, India were bowled out for 202 before lunch but were not asked to follow-on by New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum. But to the disappointment of New Zealand’s skipper their batsmen were dismissed for 105 in their second innings in the final session, giving India’s batsmen a victory target of 407 runs.
For India Ishant Sharma captured three wickets, including two in the first over after tea, to clean up New Zealand’s second innings after Mohammed Shami had blasted the top order of Kiwis with three wickets that reduced the hosts to 25-5.
New Zealand reached 78 for seven at tea after the visitors had blasted the top off their second innings.
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