BANGALORE, Sept 1 – New Zealand pace duo Tim Southee and Doug Bracewell picked up two wickets apiece to leave India on 168 for four in their first innings at tea, in reply to the visitors’ 365, on the second day of the second and final test today.
Bracewell (picture) dismissed experienced batsmen Virender Sehwag (43) and Sachin Tendulkar (17) in the afternoon session after India had lost Gautam Gambhir (two) and Cheteshwar Pujara (nine) before the lunch interval.
Suresh Raina (51 not out) and Virat Kohli (33 not out) fought back for the hosts and added 88 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket, rescuing India from 80 for four.
Raina, 25, started the counter-attack and hit eight fours and a six to bring up his seventh fifty in tests but was lucky to survive a stumping chance when on 48.
The third umpire ruled the delivery from spinner Jeetan Patel a no-ball to the batsman and India’s relief.
The innings had not started well for the hosts with Gambhir, who looked uncomfortable during most of his short stay at the wicket, the first to be dismissed, clean bowled as he shouldered arms to an incoming delivery from Southee.
Pujara, a centurion in the last test in Hyderabad, was then caught at deep fine leg trying to hook Southee.
Sehwag hit eight boundaries and looked in good touch before he lofted a catch to mid-wicket off Bracewell in the first over after lunch.
Tendulkar hit a glorious straight drive past Bracewell, one of his three fours, but on the very next delivery the New Zealander had his revenge by clean bowling the ‘little master’.
Earlier, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha took his third five-wicket haul to halt New Zealand’s progress.
The visitors, who opted to bat first after winning the toss, had added just 37 runs to their overnight score of 328 for six before India wrapped up the innings 45 minutes into the morning session.
The first wicket to fall came when Suresh Raina took a diving catch at second slip off paceman Zaheer Khan to end an entertaining knock from wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk for 71.
Van Wyk added 99 for the seventh wicket with Doug Bracewell, who was unlucky to be run out for 43 when the ball burst through Zaheer’s hand to hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end with the batsman short of his crease.
The partnership helped New Zealand get past the 350-run mark, an improvement after they made 159 and 164 in their two innings in losing the opening test in Hyderabad by an innings and 115 runs.
Ojha, who had taken four wickets yesterday, polished off the New Zealand innings by dismissing Tim Southee leg before for 14. – Reuters