The first test between India and New Zealand got underway in Hamilton yesterday and thankfully there was no rain delay. The Indian captain won the toss and invited the hosts to bat first. The pitch was supposed to help the seam bowler at least in the first session of play. The Indian bowlers did not disappoint the captain as the Black Caps were in tatters by lunch losing 6 wickets for 61 runs.
Zaheer had 2, Ishant 3 and Munaf 1. It was a perfect session for the visitors and it seemed like they will bowl out New Zealand for a 100 or 150. The revival for the Kiwis started after lunch when Daniel Vettori and Jesse Ryder joined hands. Vettori and Ryder had some luck along the way but they batted brilliantly to guide the home team towards respectability.
The next session until tea was fantastic for the black caps as they did not lose any wickets and the Ryder, Vettori combination still undisturbed. The final session continued in the same vein as Vettori and Ryder made the Indian bowlers struggle as the wicket eased up for batting. Vettori scored a brilliant hundred and looked like taking the game away from the Indians when Munaf finally struck. Vettori was caught of the bowling of Munaf for 118.
It was a brilliant innings from the captain leading from the front. Munaf accounted for Mills the very next ball with a brilliant Yorker for zero leaving the home team 8 down. Ryder still batting on 70 needed some one to stay with him Ian O’ Brian did that for a while. Ryder reached his maiden test hundred for New Zealand is having a dream run in this series. He already made his first one-day hundred this series earlier.
He looks like a brilliant prospect for New Zealand but would do well to lose some weight. The New Zealand innings though finally came to an end on 279 with Harbajan and Ishant getting one wicket each in the end. The best bowlers for India were Ishant with 4 wickets and Munaf with 3. The Indian openers had to negotiate 7 overs which they did without losing any wickets as they finished on 29/0.
The first session on Day 2 will be really important for the Indians as there might be some help for the pacers. The home team though would want to get rid of Sehwag fast as a session or two from him might swing the game decisively in India’s favor. The first day was brilliant and hopefully the second day will also follow suit in terms of action in the middle and also the weather. Let’s hope for another cracking days play.