16 February 2014

2nd test vs India, Basin Reserve, Day 2

Yesterday I spent an enjoyable day with friends at the Basin Reserve watching New Zealand play India in the 2nd test. From the vantage point in the Vance Stand behind the bowler's arm there's an excellent view of proceedings. While the Vance does seem to attract more than its fair share of duffers who prefer to talk non-stop at each other, generally not paying attention to the cricket at all, it's still an excellent spot if you don't mind the lack of direct sunlight. On a warm, wind-less day like yesterday that wasn't a problem at all.

India opened the day on 100/2 with nightwatchman Ishant Sharma at the wicket with opener Shikhar Dhawan, and pressed home the advantage by adding a further 41 runs before Trent Boult finally nabbed Sharma for 26. Two further Indian wickets fell by lunch, but by then India had secured a first innings lead, surpassing New Zealand's measly 192. At 228/6 India were in a little trouble, but a solid middle session saw them take charge, building to 301/6 by tea. In the last session Ajinkya Rahane (118) and wicketkeeper-captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (68) stamped their authority on proceedings, with Rahane's century his first in tests. After a false dawn when the industrious Neil Wagner had a Peter Fulton catch disallowed as a no-ball thanks to his wide run-up, New Zealand finally dismissed India for 438, a daunting first innings lead of 246.

Typically, in a season in which New Zealand's openers have had (or earned) little luck, Peter Fulton was then dismissed lbw for 1 by Zaheer Khan to leave the home side's total looking somewhat precarious at 24/1, 222 runs behind with three days to play. Unless Hamish Rutherford pulls a big innings out of the bag today New Zealand might be looking for two new test openers come the mid-year tour to the West Indies.

Basin Reserve from the Vance Stand
Southee to Sharma - how often does NZ have 4 slips & a gully?
Chaps
Virat Kohli (I think) - wearing Praveen Kumar's test number 269?
Tim Southee signing autographs
Umpire Kettleborough: "I've got a ball!"
Rahane departs having scored his maiden test century (118)
Last man out: Zaheer Khan c Watling+ b Wagner 22
See also:
Cricket: 2nd T20I vs West Indies, 16 January 2014
Cricket: My submission on the Basin Reserve flyover, 5 September 2013
Cricket: 2nd test against England, day 3, 16 March 2013
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