India 165; New Zealand 116-2 at tea on day 2, 1st test

By STEVE McMORRAN 22 February 2020, 12:00AM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Kane Williamson anchored two moderate partnerships which solidified New Zealand's position at tea Saturday on the second day of the first cricket test against India.

Batting with an injured finger, Williamson put on 46 for the second wicket with Tom Blundell (30) and was involved in an unbroken third wicket stand with Ross Taylor which had yielded 43 by tea.

At the break, New Zealand was 116-2 in reply to India's first innings of 165. Williamson was 46 and Taylor, playing his 100th test, was 22.

The New Zealand captain was struck on the hand shortly after his arrival at the crease Saturday on the dismissal of Tom Latham (11) when New Zealand was 26.

He put on 47 with Blundell, taking New Zealand to 73-2, then stayed with Taylor until tea in a partnership which may help shape the outcome of the match. Conditions remain tricky for batting with the ball still swinging. Spinner Ravi Ashwin also found some sharp turn and bounce.

That may make first innings runs of extra importance as the pitch will likely become better for batting as it hardens and loses some of its moisture.

Latham was caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant from the bowling of Ishant Sharma who also bowled Blundell with a superb in-swinger which curled back between bat and pad.

Earlier, Tim Southee and debutant Kyle Jamieson shared eight wickets as New Zealand bowled out India for 165. India resumed at 122-5 and New Zealand needed only 13.1 overs and 50 minutes to wrap up its first innings.

Southee took 4-49 and Jamieson, who had three wickets by the end of the first day, took 4-39 as India struggled against seam and swing.

The quick dissolution of the Indian first innings began Saturday with the run out of Pant who was 19 when he sacrificed himself after a classic mixup Ajinkya Rahane.

Rahane forced a short ball from Southee towards Ajaz Patel at point and set off. Pant said no but Rahane came on anyway. Patel had only one stump to aim at but his lobbed throw hit directly and Pant was left well short of his ground.

Ravi Ashwin was out next ball, Southee's first wicket in a superb spell Saturday. Bowling from wide on the crease, Southee angled a full delivery towards middle stump and the ball straightened past the bat and hit off.

Rahane, unsettled by the run out of Pant, went next. Southee again bowled from wide on the crease; Rahane got into line and tried to leave but reacted too late. The ball took the inside edge and just carried to wicketkeeper B.J. Watling.

Ishant Sharma became the fourth wicket in Jamieson's outstanding debut when he fended at a shorter ball from the tall fast bowler and was caught by Watling.

Mohammed Shami offered numerous chances on his way to 21 from 20 balls before Southee ended his and India's innings when he skied a ball to point.


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By STEVE McMORRAN 22 February 2020, 12:00AM

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