India gives New Zealand a tough match in 2nd cricket test
Kolkata: Overcoming the initials jolts by New Zealand bowlers, some controlled batting by Rohit Sharma, coming at the time when it was needed the most, saw India stretching its lead to 339 runs on third day of the 2nd Ind-NZ cricket test match at Eden Gardens here on Sunday.
India was 227 for 8 .at the stumps with wicket keeper-batsman Wridiman Saha ( 39) and B Kumar (8) at the crease. With six sessions in the match are still to go and two wickets in hand, India is poised well in the match. Any target in the vicinity of 350 looks difficult to get on this pitch specially in view of the forms of Indian bowlers who, in the first innings, bowled in the right areas consistently. In any case, cricket is a game of uncertainty and a couple of extraordinary knocks in the 4th innings may do the needful for the side.
Rohit Sharma who mixed caution with aggression in his 132-ball innings of 82 hit nine fours and two towering sixes before being out to spinner Santner at the fag end of the day. It came after a sort of catastrophic situation for the hosts who were 43 for four in the second innings after New Zealand ,conceding a lead of 112 runs hit back The Kiwis pace bowlers did the trick for their side in the same manner Indian did claiming top order of India in a jiffy though in-form Cheteshwar Pujara got out out to a poor umpiring decision, confirmed later.
Skipper Virat Kohli, scoring 45, was the first to launch counter-offensive against the black caps. He hit them all round the park after having faced a barrage of short pitch deliveries. He may not have lasted long but his aggression set the tone for Rohit and Saha who steered India to a relatively safe position.
A gritty Wridhiman Saha, who scored an unbeaten half-century in the first innings, again came good proving how useful a player he is for the side. Having replaced none other than Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Test team after the latter announced his retirement from longer format of the game, Saha continues to provide stability to the lower order.
Earlier in the morning, New Zealand resumed from overnight score of 128 for 7 and all out for 204 few minutes before the lunch.
Brief Scores at stumps on 3rd day
- India (1st inninings): 316
- New Zealand( 1st innings): 204 ( J S patel 47, Ross Taylor 36, Ronchi 35, Watling 25 Bhuvneshar kumar 5 for 48 , Shami 3 for 70
- India(2nd innings): 227 for 8 (Rohit Sharma 82, Virat Kohli 45 W Saha 39 not out, Henry 3 for44 , Santner 3 for 51 and Boult 2 for 28)