New Zealand were 128 for seven in their first innings in reply to India's 316 all out on the second day of the second cricket Test at Eden Gardens. Bhuvneshwar Kumar picks up five wicket against New Zealand to put visitors under pressure.
Brief Scores: India 1st innings: 316 New Zealand: 128 for seven in 34 overs (Luke Ronchi 35, Ross Taylor 36; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 5/33)
Earlier, The Eden Gardens test match is evenly poised with both India and New Zealand putting up a spirited fight. Bowlers have dominated the match till now as batsmen haven't been allowed to score freely. Ravindra Jadeja, the ace Indian allrounder, once again proved his worth to the team by claiming the wicket of Luke Ronchi at a crucial period of NZ's first innings. Just before rain interrupted play, India had sent New Zealand reeling at 85/4.
The second day of the match started on a dismal note for India as three wickets fell quickly and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha waged a lone battle to carry the Indian innings past 300. A jubilant New Zealand team seemed well prepare to dominate India in the test match. However, Indian speedsters, especially Bhuvneshwar Kumar had other ideas. Early breakthroughs by Bhuvneshwar and Mohammad Shami left New Zealand in dire straits in their first innings apart from leaving the match evenly poised. The pacers drew early blood as Bhuvneshwar snared two wickets and Shami one. As a result, NZ was left reeling at 65/3.
Earlier, New Zealand had unsettled India with both pace and spin. Unable to withstand the pressure from Kiwi bowlers, Indians were bundled out for 316 on the second day of the match. Credit should however go to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who steered the Indian innings past 300 with a fighting half century; until he ran out of partners.
The Eden Gardens wicket surprised everyone by offering seam movement and bounce to fast bowlers. Usually, the wicket offers more help to batsmen but the present one seems to be two paced. New Zealand seamers exploited the bounce and pace of the wicket while utilizing the short ball technique against Indian batsmen.
This in turn led to the top order crumbling like a pack of cards apart from Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. The wicket asked for patience and both of them dug in. Hours of hard work witnessed them posting a century stand. However, New Zealand fought back to stop both the stalwarts from reaching century figures. Pujara was stopped on 87 when Wagner had him caught at short cover whereas Rahane was trapped lbw by Jeetan Patel for 77 runs.
Overall, the match has belonged to the bowlers who have displayed tremendous grit and tenacity. Indian bowlers have done a commendable job and look set to undo all the hardwork of their New Zealand counterparts.