Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Latham, Somerville frustrate India in slow-moving session. Both Latham and Somerville looked at ease against the Indian attack.
Both Latham and Somerville looked at ease against the Indian attack.
Tom Latham and William Somerville stuck to playing an attritional brand of cricket as New Zealand went into Lunch on the final day of the opening Test against India without losing a single wicket in the morning session. While 284 still seems a long way, the visitors have given themselves a good chance of at least eking out a draw.
The key to the morning session was the first hour where India would have looked to make incisions. However, the nightwatchman Somerville (36*) and Latham (35*) 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 Yadav. Meanwhile, the Indian pace duo couldn't match their New Zealand counterparts in relation to generating swing.
In desperation, India even took a review when it seemed as if Tom Latham was stuck outside the line of the off-stump while facing Ravindra Jadeja. The review confirmed the same. On the other hand, the southpaw employed his tried and tested sweep to keep the scorecard moving. In an attempt to break the stubborn stand, Rahane introduced his third spinner Axar Patel.
Axar, who picked up his fourth five-wicket haul in the first essay, stuck to his plan of bowling mostly with a flatter trajectory and looking for lbws and bowleds. In the 30th over, he almost castled Somerville with a quicker delivery but Somerville stonewalled it at the ‘nth' moment. At the fag end of the session, R Ashwin replaced Jadeja but despite the occasional delivery turning off the deck, he too couldn't find that elusive breakthrough as New Zealand reached 79/1 at the break.
On a slow track, New Zealand have frustrated the Indian spinners. The odd ball is keeping low but the cracks aren't in the line of the stumps. So a batter can still adjust to the slow nature of the pitch and play with a degree of confidence on the final day.
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 79/1 (William Somerville 36*; R Ashwin 1-19) by 204 runs.