Cricket

Lost Opportunity: New Zealand’s Last-Wicket Pair Denies India Victory In First Test

Kanpur: New Zealand’s last-wicket pair survived 52 balls to deny India victory in the first Test at Green Park Stadium on Monday.

Team India thus lost out on a wonderful opportunity to avenge their World Test Championship final defeat at the hands of New Zealand five months ago.

The visitors fought hard in the opening session of the final day and didn’t lose any wicket. But Indian spinners Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel came into their own thereafter to push New Zealand to the brink.

When Jadeja dismissed Tim Southee to claim his fourth wicket, New Zealand were 155 for 9, chasing 284 for victory. Debutant Rachin Ravindra and No. 11 batsman Ajaz Patel were at the crease, and Indian bowlers had at least nine overs to claim the last wicket.

With light fading, the umpires kept checking the light meter after every over. The home team crowded the New Zealand batsmen with seven fielders around the bat, but the two tailenders showed great temperament and application to keep Indian spinners at bay and snatch a nail-biting draw.

Test debutant Shreyas Iyer was adjudged Man of the Match for scoring 105 and 65 on a difficult pitch.

Scores: India 345 & 234/7 declared. New Zealand 296 & 165/9.

Result: Match drawn.

OB Bureau

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