Ravichandran Ashwin removed Will Young with the new ball as New Zealand went into stumps on an absorbing day four of the ongoing first Test against India on 4/1 in four overs. With just one day left in the match, New Zealand are now faced with a tall order of making 280 runs with nine wickets in hand.
After India staged an excellent recovery from 51/5 to declare at 234/7 in 81 overs, the hosts struck early in New Zealand’s chase. Ashwin struck Will Young’s front pad after going past the bat with a delivery which kept low. After being given out, Young took too much time to consult his opening partner Tom Latham in taking a review.
Young pressed for the ‘T’ review signal but by then, the 15-second time period was over and review was denied. The hesitancy in taking the review quickly cost Young and New Zealand as the ball was shown missing the stumps. Young’s scalp resulted in Ashwin equalling Harbhajan Singh’s 417 Test wickets.
Earlier, Ashwin had played a crucial part in India, playing some lovely shots in setting up the base for a recovery with the bat. After his fall, Shreyas Iyer took charge of India’s recovery with support from Wriddhiman Saha. Mixing aggression and caution, Iyer played an important knock of 65, thus becoming the first Indian Test batter to score a hundred in first innings and follow it up with a fifty in second innings on debut.
Saha batted through neck stiffness to notch up a fighting sixth Test half-century. Axar Patel gave him great company for an unbeaten stand of 67 as India benefitted from fifty-plus partnerships for the sixth, seventh and eighth wickets respectively.
Brief Scores: India 345 (Shreyas Iyer 105, Tim Southee 5/69) and 234/7 decl in 81 overs (Shreyas Iyer 65, Wriddhiman Saha 61 not out, Kyle Jamieson 3/40, Tim Southee 3/75) vs New Zealand 296 in 142.3 overs (Tom Latham 95, Axar Patel 5/62) and 4/1 in 4 overs (Ravichandran Ashwin 1/3). NZ need 280 runs to win.