Apurv Shukla –
India beat New Zealand by 197 runs in the first cricket test of the three match series at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur on September 26, 2016.
It was India’s 500th Test Match, and started one of the longest home summers for the second-ranked test side, where they are scheduled to play 13 test matches.
New Zealand was aiming to win only their third Test Match in India, first since 1988, when Kane Williamson’s side started the Kanpur Test.
In spite of losing the toss, Kiwis put up a good performance in the first innings restricting India to 318.
The New Zealand spin trio Ish Sodhi, Mark Craig and Michael Santner, playing their first test in India, made good use of the conditions.
Left arm bowler Trent Boult chipped in with three wickets.
New Zealand started well in response, reaching 159/1 when rain interrupted play on Day 2 of the match.
Things turned around for India though on Day 3 with spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja getting all the wickets.
Ross Taylor was out without scoring.
Williamson, returning to the country where he scored a century on debut in 2010, was the standout performer top scoring with 75 runs.
India in their second innings looked like a team batting on a different pitch to the Kiwis. Opener Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara (who was looking to make the one-down position) scored well.
India set the Kiwis a target of 434 runs to win the test match.
New Zealand was chasing history in their quest to win the game.
The previous highest fourth innings total in India by a touring team was 276 by the West Indies in 1987.
When Ashwin, opening the bowling, trapped Williamson on the back foot in the final session of the fourth day at Green Park, he became the fastest Indian bowler to 200 Test wickets, reaching the milestone in his 37th Test.
He beat the record previously held by Harbhajan Singh who achieved the feat in 46 tests.
Auckland opener Martin Guptill again disappointed against the red ball; scoring a total of 21 runs in the match.
His place for the second test looks in jeopardy with a fit again Jimmy Neesham slotted to come back.
For Man of the Match Jadeja, it was a brilliant start to the home series. Not only did he pick six wickets, but also scored valuable runs down the order in both innings.
As the series heads east to Kolkata, New Zealand has a tough job on hand.
The team must to put up a more spirited defence and attack mechanisms against the Indian spinners – in all likelihood- three of them at Eden Gardens.
- Ravichandran Ashwin finished with match figures of 10-225 as India cantered to a 197-run win
Picture by BCCI
- India played some bad shots to throw away wickets to New Zealand on the first day
Picture by Reuters