Test cricket never ceases to amaze us. New Zealand and India played out a stunning draw in Kanpur on Monday (November 29). It all came down to last 8.4 overs in the end and Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel made sure they kept India at bay to go to Mumbai Test 0-0 and still having a chance to win the series in India.
The final day started with New Zealand needing 280 more runs while the hosts required nine wickets. Tom Latham and Will Somerville did really well to bat out for the first session but the latter was trapped by a short delivery in the first ball after lunch. Kane Williamson and Latham batted for 19.1 overs more to make sure the match was heading towards a draw.
But Latham, after getting to his fifty, chopped one on to his stumps to open the door for the Indian spinners. The visitors, in no time, slipped from being 118/2 to 128/6 in 15 overs. At that moment, it seemed, India will run away with the game. But New Zealand’s last four wickets hung around in the middle enough stitching partnerships in terms of balls faced.
Rachin Ravindra impressed on his debut showing exemplary defensive technique. He scored an unbeaten 18 off 91 balls to stay put at one end while Ajaz also did well to face 23 deliveries and draw the Test match.
What happened earlier in the game?
As far as the game is concerned, India posted 345 runs on the board in the first innings after opting to bat first. Shreyas Iyer scored a brilliant century on debut while Shubman Gill and Ravindra Jadeja also smashed half-centuries. New Zealand started well in response with Will Young (89) and Tom Latham (95) adding 151 runs for the opening wicket.
However, Axar Patel wreaked havoc picking up five wickets as the Kiwis slipped to 296 all-out from being 197/1 at one stage. After eking out a 49-run lead in the first innings, India found themselves in trouble at 51/5 in their second essay thanks to impeccable bowling from Southee and Jamieson. However, Iyer once again came to the rescue smashing 65 runs while Ashwin (32) and Saha (61*) played a brilliant hand as well.
India declared their second innings at 234/7 setting New Zealand a target of 284 runs. But they couldn’t pick all ten wickets of the visitors eventually hanging on for a thrilling draw.
India – 345/10 (S Iyer 105; T Southee 5/69) & 234/7dec (S Iyer 65; K Jamieson 3/40)
New Zealand – 296/10 (T Latham 95; A Patel 5/62) & 165/9 (T Latham 52; R Jadeja 4/40)
Result – Draw.