Wellington Test- A Draw!
Being in a winning position, India just managed to draw the second and the final test against NZ.
India had successfully won the toss again and decided to bat in the second test at Wellington. Earlier, India had lost the first test by 40 runs and India badly wanted to win this test to square the test series.
New Zealand First Innings : Ishant Sharma was at his very best, Both the NZ openers Fulton and Rutherford back to the pavilion in quick time, Kane Williamson was the only NZ batsman to provide some resistance scoring 47 runs, apart from Williamson, Jimmy Neesham and Tim Southee scored 33 and 32 respectively and NZ were all out for 192. Ishant Sharma had picked 6/51 his best and Shami picked 4/70
India First Innings : On the same day-1 India had been put into bat, Indian openers Vijay and Dhawan were expected to provide a good start, Vijay was out for two runs, Southee provided the first breakthrough for Kiwis. Dhawan having scored a 100 in first test was in good form and he continued batting on a treacherous pitch. Pujara who had not been in good form this series was out for 19 runs and Ishant Sharma was sent up the order as a night watchman as the play was closing, Day-1 , India were 100/2. Dhawan had scored a half century. Day-2 Ishant Sharma was troubling the NZ bowlers and went on to score 26 and soon he edged one to the keeper and Boult had picked the first wicket of the day-2. Dhawan and Sharma added 52 for the third wicket. Every one was expecting Dhawan to score back to back centuries, but he nicked one to the keeper on 98 and Dhawan had missed his century. India were 4 down for 162. Rohit out for duck and India were in sort of a trouble,162/5. Virat Kohli and Rahane added 63 for the 6th wicket. Virat Kohli started off well and looking for a big score was out for 38, Rahane and Dhoni took the game away from Kiwis in the first innings, Dhoni played well for his 68 and Rahane went on to score his first ever test ton after he missed one against South Africa by 4 runs. The duo added 120 for the 7 wicket. Contributions from Jadeja and Zak took India to 438 for the loss of 10 wickets. Rahane top scored with 118, and India lead by 246 runs.
New Zealand Second Innings : Zaheer Khan removed Peter Fulton for a run, caught at crease and not a good start for the Kiwis, Kane Williamson who had been the backbone of NZ batting recently, nicked one to dhoni and it was Zaheer again picking up yet another top order wicket and NZ were in trouble losing 2 for 27 runs. Rutherford been playing patiently and on 35 he had nicked one to Dhoni on Zaheer’s bowling and Zak had picked his third wicket of the match and India certainly looked, they were on top of the game. Followed by Latham and Anderson’s wicket for 29 and 2 respectively, NZ had lost 5/94 and they had long way to go, to take a lead and make India bat again. There was a twist, there was a miracle happening, NZ captain Brendon McCullum and Keeper BJ Watling were creating history, the duo added 352 for the 6th wicket and a world record for the 6 wicket partnership. The record earlier was held by Mahela and Prassana Jayawardene of Sri Lanka. Indian bowlers had no clue, Ishant Sharma who bowled a furious spell in the first Innings was not allowed to pick a single wicket in the second Innings, end of day-3 and day-4 NZ has taken the entire match in their control, being 94/5 to 680/8 dec. BJ Watling had scored an amazing century(124). Jimmy Neesham too scored a century and that was his maiden century, being a debutant. McCullam and Neesham added 179 for 7th wicket. McCullum showed his class reaching his first ever 300 in test match and he was the first kiwi player to score a triple hundred. The NZ captain had scored 302 in 559 balls that included 32 fours and 4 six’s, this innings took the game away from India and India had fielded for almost two and a half days and finally NZ declared 680/8. Zak Picked 5/170 and Neesham remained unbeaten on 137.
India Second Innings : Needing 435 in 67 overs to win, India lost both the openers early. Virat Kohli and Pujara stabilized the Indian Innings. Pujara did not make an impact as he usually does in test matches and was out for 17, Virat Kohli was looking solid and marching towards a big score and as expected he scored his 6th test century and Rohit Sharma at the other end was giving him company and remained unbeaten on 31 and Virat Kohli on 105* and when India were 166/3 in 52 overs, both the captains agreed to call it off and a Draw was announced. India finally managed to drew the second test from being in a winning position, all credits to McCullum, BJ Watling and Neesham, the trio brought back NZ to the game and the rest was History!
Player of the match was awarded to Brendon McCullum for his match saving triple century.
India’s next would be the Asia cup and the t-20 world cup, lets not lose the hope, we shall win those! till then, as a fan, keep cheering!