Sharma gives India upper hand
Wellington - A career-best six-wicket haul by Ishant Sharma put India firmly in
charge at stumps on the opening day of the second Test against New
Zealand in Wellington on Friday.
New Zealand were rolled for 192
in their first innings and at the close India were 100-2 with Shikhar
Dhawan on 71 and Sharma, playing the nighwatchman role, on three.
Vijay was the first wicket to fall, caught behind by BJ Watling off Tim
Southee for two. He tried to pull out of the way of a rising delivery
but it cut back sharply to skim his gloves on the way to the keeper.
Cheteshwar Pujara was out 10 minutes before stumps for 19 when rapped on the pads by Trent Boult.
India's 100 has come from 28 overs as the wicket lost its early feistiness in the late afternoon sun.
Zealand struggled through 52.5 overs for their 192 with Sharma taking
6-51, following another six-wicket bag in the first Test, while Mohammed
Shami finished with 4-70.
New Zealand had expected a troubled
ride from the moment Brendon McCullum lost the toss and they were
predictably sent into bat first on the hard, green wicket.
Fulton and Hamish Rutherford, who were both struggling for runs,
cautiously negotiated the first half hour until the introduction of
Sharma to the attack turned the game immediately.
In the space of
14 balls, mixing up deliveries of swing and bounce, he reduced New
Zealand from 23 without loss to 23-3 and they never recovered with the
innings coming to an end shortly after tea.
Only lusty hitting at
the tail by debutant Jimmy Neesham and Southee lifted the total close
to the 200 mark, after New Zealand at one stage were 133-7.
All-rounder Neesham had seven fours in his 33 while Southee included three sixes and a four in his 32.
opening burst claimed Rutherford (12), Fulton (13) and new cap Tom
Latham, deputising for New Zealand's unavailable star performer Ross
Taylor, who was gone for nought after facing eight balls.
Shami came back for his second spell to remove McCullum for eight to have New Zealand 50-4 at lunch.
Anderson (24) and Watling (nought) went soon after lunch before Kane
Williamson, who had been at the crease since the fall of the first
wicket, and Neesham compiled New Zealand's best partnership of 47 for
the seventh wicket.
Williamson was given out on 15 and 23 only to
be recalled both times when replays showed Zaheer Khan and then Sharma
had claimed his wicket off no balls.