Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Shreyas Iyer fifty takes the lead past 200. Iyer became the first Indian to score a hundred and then a fifty on debut
Iyer became the first Indian to score a hundred and then a fifty on debut
Shreyas Iyer continued to shine brightly in the Kanpur Test as he followed up his hundred in the first innings with a defining fifty in the second dig to help India gain a sizeable lead of 216 against New Zealand.
At the commencement of the second session, the match still seemed to be in the balance with India ahead by 133. However, Iyer and R Ashwin played with purpose and discipline to negate the early threat of Tim Southee. The hallmark of the partnership was every single time the New Zealand bowlers dished out an ordinary delivery, the duo took advantage of it. The point can be further illustrated by how Ashwin crunched the pull when Southee bowled a half-tracker in the 36th over.
Just when the pair seemed set to take India to a position of strength, Kyle Jamieson breathed life into New Zealand's effort by forcing Ashwin to inside edge one onto the stumps. Jamieson's ability to extract disconcerting bounce again came to the fore. With India ahead by 152 and four wickets left in the shed, Wriddhiman Saha joined forces with Iyer to share another crucial association. By then, India also was looking to play with more freedom, capsulised by how Iyer used the depth of the crease to deftly late cut Ajaz Patel.
Ajaz's spin colleague – Will Somerville – seemed to be in the middle of a good spell as he extracted enough overspin. Just that Saha danced down the deck and collected a boundary and then clubbed a six off Somerville. New Zealand, though, would rue the fact that the boundary hit by Saha could have been a wicket as the fielder stationed at midwicket fluffed a tough chance. In a hard-fought Test that missed opportunity could turn out to be the difference between the two sides. Iyer followed it up by cracking a volley of lofts against Ajaz and soon reached his fifty. At the stroke of Tea, Iyer gloved one off Tim Southee but by then he had taken his side to safer waters.
Earlier, Southee and to a lesser extent Jamieson had given a superb exhibition of swing and seam bowling to help New Zealand fight back in the morning. On a track that is increasingly keeping low with the odd ball kicking up on the batter, Cheteshwar Pujara began well by taking advantage of a few loose deliveries from Jamieson. However, the 6'8″ pace bowler soon found his mojo when he extracted a little more kick on his short ball and induced Pujara to glove one behind. Ajinkya Rahane, who has been in poor form, was then done in by the arm-ball from Ajaz Patel. At that stage, with India in a spot of bother, Southee put on a masterclass of swing and seam bowling to leave the hosts in further trouble.
In the 20th over, he generated appreciable outswing and Mayank obliged by getting opened up in his defence and eked out a thick enough edge that carried to the slip cordon for once. He then trapped Ravindra Jadeja plumb in front with a delivery that darted in a bit to rap the all-rounder on his pads. Jadeja placed his belief in the review but couldn't overturn it.
Brief scores: India 345 (Shreyas Iyer 105, Shubman Gill 52, Ravindra Jadeja 50; Tim Southee 5-69) and 167/7 (Shreyas Iyer 65; Kyle Jamieson 3-26, Tim Southee 3-48) lead New Zealand 296 (Tom Latham 95, Will Young 89; Axar Patel 5-62) by 216 runs.