Day 3 of the 1st Test match between India and New Zealand at Auckland proved remarkably fruitful for the bowlers as it saw the fall of 17 wickets and only 254 runs being scored.
India started the day on 130/4 in reply to New Zealand’s first innings score of 503 but were soon in deep trouble as both the overnight batsmen, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma, got out playing loose shots outside their off stump. India couldn’t really get any partnership going and eventually folded out for 202 in 60 overs with Ravindra Jadeja remaining not out on 30.
Despite having a 301-run lead, New Zealand chose not to enforce the follow on and came out to bat India out of the game. The script did not go according to plan though for the Kiwis as they were reduced to 15/4 in their second essay by the time they went into lunch.
Mohammad Shami bowled with searing pace, caused all sorts of trouble to the Kiwi batsmen and snapped up 2 wickets in a fiery spell before lunch. The Indian bowlers were also backed up by some good fielding with Ravindra Jadeja in particluar being outstanding.
The troubles continued for the Black Caps’ batsman in the post lunch session as well. Wickets kept falling at an alarming regularity and India eventually managed to skittle out the New Zealanders for 105 in their second innings. Ross Taylor was the only batsman to offer some resistance with a stroke-filled 41. For India, Shami and Ishant Sharma managed to pick up 3 wickets apiece while Zaheer Khan managed two.
After being set a target of 407 to win the Test, India came out to bat in their second innings knowing that they were required to complete a record chase in New Zealand. Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan got off to a rather nice start. At 36/0, India were looking safe and comfortable when Vijay unfortunately nicked a harmless delivery down the leg stump to the wicket-keeper off the bowling of Tim Southee. Cheteshwar Pujara and Dhawan survived some tough moments but managed to play out the day.
India finished Day 3 on 87/1 and require a further 320 runs to win the match.
Brief Scores :
New Zealand 1st Innings: 503 all out (Brendon McCullum 224, Kane Williamson 113, Ishant Sharma 6/134)
India 1st Innings: 202 all out (Rohit Sharma 72, Ravindra Jadeja 30, Neil Wagner 4/64)
New Zealand 2nd Innings: 105 all out (Ross taylor 41, Tim Southee 14, Ishant Sharma 3/28)
India 2nd Innings: 87/1 (Shikhar Dhawan 49, Cheteshwar Pujara 22, Tim Southee 1/18)