Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - India chip away despite Latham's defiant 50. Latham was bowled by R Ashwin
Latham was bowled by R Ashwin
India picked up wickets at regular intervals in the afternoon session to give themselves a window of opportunity of bowling New Zealand out on the final day of the opening Test. At Tea, the visitors were 125 for 4, still needing 159 for an unlikely win.
A couple of hours ago, when the second session commenced, there was excitement in the Indian camp after Umesh Yadav ended Will Someville's gritty knock (36 off 110 balls) with the short ball from round the wicket. During the course of his stay at the crease, the nightwatchman had shown some discomfort against the short ball, and he eventually fell to a bouncer from Umesh. Shubman Gill also had a part to play in the dismissal as he took a fine running catch from fine leg.
Kane Williamson, who replaced the nightwatchman, stuck to New Zealand's maxim of grinding out India's spin trio. There were a couple of moments when it felt as if the New Zealand skipper was looking to change the side's template – once he played a loft off Axar Patel and also showed a touch of finesse by cracking a sumptuous cover drive against Ishant Sharma. However, barring the fleeting moments of aggression, Williamson and Tom Latham were intent on offering their broad blades to stonewall India.
After a long vigil at the crease, Latham perhaps lost his concentration as he attempted the cut against Ashwin and chopped one onto the stumps. The feature of Latham's innings was the way he used the depth of the crease to play back against good length deliveries and his ability to crack the sweep while facing the spinners. Ross Taylor, batting at number five, wasn't as sure-footed. The veteran has a tendency to struggle against slow left-arm orthodox bowlers. So it wasn't a surprise that Ajinkya Rahane used both his left-arm spinners – R Jadeja and Axar Patel. At the stroke of Tea, Taylor missed the slider from Jadeja and was trapped in front. The wicket would have given India some hope of forcing a result in the last session.
The final day had started with India eyeing early inroads, but it didn't go according to script for the hosts. Somerville and Latham were able to adjust to the slow nature of the track and waded through the first hour. In fact, Somerville was judicious in his shot selection and showcased watertight defence, juxtaposed by a couple of shots behind square on the off-side off Umesh. In desperation, India even took a review when it seemed as if Latham was stuck outside the line of the off-stump while facing Jadeja. The review confirmed the same. At the fag end of the session, Ashwin got a couple ot rip off the surface but he too couldn't find the breakthrough.
Brief scores: India 345 (Shreyas Iyer 105, Shubman Gill 52, Ravindra Jadeja 50; Tim Southee 5-69) and 234/7 decl. (Shreyas Iyer 65 W Saha 61*; Kyle Jamieson 3-40, Tim Southee 3-75) lead New Zealand 296 (Tom Latham 95, Will Young 89; Axar Patel 5-62) and 125/4 (Tom Latham 52; R Ashwin 2-28) by 158 runs.