Agarwal’s century takes India to 221-4 at stumps vs. NZ

By Associated Press 04 December 2021, 12:00AM

MUMBAI India (AP) — Mayank Agarwal’s fifth test hundred rescued India from a precarious position Friday as the hosts reached 221-4 at stumps on day one of the second test against New Zealand.

Agarwal finished the day at 120 not out, while Wriddhiman Saha was unbeaten on 25. Ajaz Patel took 4-73 in 29 overs to put a dent in the Indian top-order, with Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli both falling for ducks.

India had reached tea at 111-3 at tea after the morning session was washed out due to a wet outfield. The toss was delayed by 2 1/2 hours and play finally got underway at noon local time.

Openers Agarwal and Shubman Gill (44) combined for 80 runs before Patel provided the breakthrough with Gill caught at slip. It sparked a mini-collapse with Pujara clean bowled and Kohli, returning after sitting out the first test, given out to a dubious lbw decision.

But Agarwal rescued India from 80-3 and added 80 runs for the fourth wicket with Shreyas Iyer (18) on either side of tea.

Agarwal then continued showing the same confidence that had helped him break a run of poor form stretching to the last 13 innings.

He struck seven more fours and another two sixes in the final session and countered New Zealand’s spinners with ease using immaculate footwork. Overall, he hit 14 fours and four sixes.

“It was a great knock (from Agarwal)," Gill said. "He was absolutely determined and it was a great innings. To be able to play 250 balls in a day and remain unbeaten is great.”

Shreyas Iyer (18) fell to Patel after adding 80 runs for the fourth wicket with Agarwal. It came against the run of play as the first-test centurion was caught behind.

India was 160-4 at that stage. Saha then helped put on 61 runs for the fifth wicket with Agarwal.

The opener reached his century off 196 deliveries. It was his first test hundred since November 2019, when Agarwal had scored 243 against Bangladesh in Indore.

With Saha, he helped push India’s score past 200 in the 62nd over.

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More AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sport

By Associated Press 04 December 2021, 12:00AM
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