By Shrikant Shankar
Feb 16, 2014
New Zealand are at 146 for five at tea on Day Three of the second Test against India in Wellington on February 16, 2014. Brendon McCullum has led the fightback for New Zealand, but they still trail India by 100 runs. McCullum is batting on 44 and BJ Watling is on 24.
The session started with New Zealand at 87 for four. Mohammed Shami bowled a bouncer and and McCullum hooked it for a four towards long-leg. Ravindra Jadeja then dismissed Corey Anderson for two runs off six deliveries. Jadeja bowled a length delivery and Anderson top-edged it straight back to the bowler.
Shami then bowled a short delivery and McCullum played an upper cut and guided it for a four towards third-man. That got New Zealand past the 100-run mark. Ishant Sharma then bowled a no-ball and Watling flicked it for a four through mid-wicket.
The runs were hard to come by in general during the session as both McCullum and Watling were focused on spending as much time as possible in the crease.
Surprisingly MS Dhoni removed all the slips for McCullum. Ishant bowled a length delivery outside off-stump and McCullum pushed at it hard and got an edge on it. The ball fell just short of the outstretched hand of Dhoni and McCullum got a single.
The ball was another length delivery and it bounced a little more and surprised Watling. The ball just missed his bat and went to Dhoni. For Watling, though, Dhoni had kept three slips.
Just like Virat Kohli in the first session, Ishant missed a chance to dismiss McCullum. He pitched the delivery on a good length and McCullum hit it back to him. Ishant on his follow-through got his hands to it, but dropped the catch.
There was a break in play as McCullum needed the physio to tend to his right shoulder. It seemed like there was a bit of sprain.
After that Zaheer Khan was brought into the attack. He bowled a long-hop and McCullum pulled that towards mid-wicket for a four.
There was another chance for India to get a wicket as tea approached. McCullum pushed a delivery from Jadeja to cover and started for a run. Seeing that a fielder was onto it, he sent Watling back. The throw was at the bowler’s end and Watling was in his dive to get in.
The ball hit Watling’s bat and went over the stumps. Jadeja half-heartedly appealed for obstructing the field, but Watling had his head turned away from the direction of the ball, so, it was unintentional.
Jadeja bowled a length delivery and Watling punched it through cover for a four. That brought up the 50-run partnership between McCullum and Watling. Soon after tea was called as New Zealand still trailed India by 100 runs.
New Zealand 192 (Kane Williamson 47, James Neesham 33, Tim Southee 32; Ishant Sharma 6 for 51, Mohammed Shami 4 for 70) & 146 for 5 (Hamish Rutherford 35, Tom Latham 29, Brendon McCullum 44*; Zaheer Khan 3 for 34) trail India 438 (Shikhar Dhawan 98, Ajinkya Rahane 118, MS Dhoni 68; Trent Boult 3 for 99, Tim Southee 3 for 93) by 100 runs.
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)
Also on cricketcountry.com