India fightback with late strikes on day 2

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Picture Courtsey: Times of India

Thanks to late strikes at the end of day 2, India fought back strongly despite New Zealand having the lead played at Basin Reserve Stadium, Wellington on Saturday.

Starting on the overnight score of 122 for 5, it was a superb start for Pant as he hit a six off Ajaz Patel bowling before being involved in a run out mix. Pant and Rahane added 31 runs for the 6th wicket. Tim Southee bowled a beauty to dismiss Ravichandran Ashwin. Southee struck again to get rid off well set Rahane for 46. Mohammed Shami hit some lovely blows adding 22 runs for the 9th wicket with Ishant Sharma. Ishant Sharma and Shami went in quick succession as India were bowled out for 165.

Tom Blundell and Tom Latham started on a steady note with positive stroke play. At the end of first session, New Zealand were 17 for 0.

It was an ideal start for the Indian in the 2nd session as Ishant Sharma got the wicket of Latham with a leg side tickle catch to Pant. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson looked positive with his stroke play and made the batting look easy. Blundell showed his intent making life tough for Indian bowlers. Bumrah and Shami could not find the length on the pitch. Ishant Sharma was bought into the attack and got the breakthrough dismissing Blundell with a beauty. Blundell and Williamson added 47 runs for the 2nd wicket. Playing his 100th Test match, Ross Taylor impressed with attacking play against Ravichandran Ashwin and put India on the backfoot. New Zealand went into the tea break in a comfortable position at 116 for 2.

In the third session, Williamson reached his fifty off 93 balls and played some lovely strokes against the Indian pacers. Taylor looked comfortable timing the ball. Ishant Sharma got the big breakthrough dismissing dangerous Taylor which bounced and went into hand of Pujara. Taylor and Williamson added 93 runs for the 3rd wicket. Ishant Sharma was superb with his line and length not allowing Henry Nicholls to score runs easily. Mohammed Shami struck to get rid off well set Kane Williamson for 89 bringing India back into the game. Before the close of play, Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Nicholls for 11. BJ Watling looked composed and Colin de Grandhomme faced only 2 balls before bad light called off play. New Zealand ended the 2nd day on 216 for 5 with a lead of 51.

New Zealand 216 for 5 in 71.1 overs ( Kane Williamson 89, Taylor 44, Ishant Sharma 3/31, Ashwin 1/60) lead India 165 in 68.1 overs ( Rahane 46, Agarwal 34, Tim Southee 4/49, Jamieson 4/39) by 51 runs.

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