India face tricky chase in Auckland

India

India reached stumps on a frenetic day three of the first Test against New Zealand in Auckland on 87 for one, chasing 407 to win after 17 wickets fell on the day.

India reached stumps on a frenetic day three of the first Test against New Zealand in Auckland on 87 for one, chasing 407 to win after 17 wickets fell on the day.

India lost their final six wickets for 72 runs in the first part of the day, all out for 202, and then the Black Caps crumbled to 105 all out in the evening session. At the close, Shikhar Dhawan was on 49 and Cheteshwar Pujara on 22.

The visitors began the day on 130 for four, with Rohit Sharma in the middle with a half century. But he was only able to add five more runs to his tally, before being dismissed for 72 by Trent Boult.

Neil Wagner was the destroyer in chief for the India tail, removing MS Dhoni, Zaheer Khan and Mohammed Shami for cheap figures, while Boult and Tim Southee contributed too, leaving Ravi Jadeja stranded on 30 not out.

NEw Zealand chose not to enforce the follow-on, and that was soon revealed to be a huge error in judgement as the ball continued to move in the air and off the pitch, soon reducing the Kiwis to 25 for five.

Shami bagged openers Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton within the first three overs, while Zaheer Khan removed Kane Williamson and then later Ross Taylor for a top innings score of 41.

Brendon McCullum, so excellent in the first innings with his double ton, was run out for one, while Corey Anderson was bowled by Shami for two. BJ Watling's wicket, for 14, saw the hosts reduced to 78 for eight.

Once Ish Sodhi was bowled for a duck by Ishant Sharma, who also bagged three wickets, the 11th wicket stand between Boult and Wagner pushed the score over 100 with a few streaky boundaries. The final wicket fell in the 42nd over.

Thus, India were set 407 to win, with a score of over 400 only being reached for a victory four times in Test history. They lost Murali Vijay early on , but Dhawan and Pujara consolidated until the close, leaving them needing 320 more runs in the next two days.

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