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Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara brought up an 87-run partnership for the second wicket after India lost Murali Vijay in the second over to get the team to 100/2 at stumps on Day 1 of the second Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Vijay (2) fell in the worst possible way to a Tim Southee delivery. He had decided to shoulder arms to the rising delivery outside off but did not pull his arms high enough. The ball brushed his gloves and went for an easy catch to BJ Watling behind the stumps.
Since then, Dhawan (71*) and Pujara (19) played a steady hand. While Dhawan was the more aggressive of the two, he was not reckless. Pujara was his general patient self, until he got trapped LBW by a Trent Boult delivery.
Dhoni sent in night-watchman Ishant Sharma to see the day through. He scored three runs and kept his wicket intact.
Earlier in the day, Ishant's best Test figures of 6/51 and a disciplined Indian bowling enabled India to restrict New Zealand to 192.
In the space of 14 deliveries Ishant removed openers Hamish Rutherford and Peter Fulton as well as debutant Tom Latham to finish the morning session with three for 14 from nine overs. He came back after lunch to claim two more and added another to his kitty post-tea.
Sharma generated some steep bounce to trick Rutherford (12) into going into a shot and nicking to Murali Vijay in the slip. In the next over, he trapped Fulton LBW with a fullish delivery that struck him below the knee roll. He continued the good work by getting Latham out for a duck on his debut, getting him to nick one to MS Dhoni behind the stumps in the very next over.
Mohammed Shami claimed the fourth wicket to fall in the morning session when he got Brendon McCullum caught. It was quite a soft dismissal with the Kiwi skipper driving one straight into the safe hands of Ravindra Jadeja at mid-off.
After lunch, Corey Anderson and Kane Williamson mounted a strong counter-attack. They showed determination and application, taking the fight back to the Indian camp. However, in the 34th over, Ishant struck again.
He bowled one into the pads of Anderson (24) with a good deal of bounce. Anderson misjudged it, tried to play a half-hook-half-flick shot but ended up giving a looping catch to Virat Kohli in the slip cordon.
Ishant caused further trouble for the hosts when his claimed BJ Watling for a duck. The good length delivery landed just outside off, making the batsman play it. Watling looked to defend and got an outside edge to the slip.
Kane Williamson survived on the other end, getting out twice on a no ball. The first came off Zaheer Khan when he nicked one to Dhoni, the other was off Ishant, when Cheteshwar Pujara at short leg dove to his right to take a brilliant catch.
His luck finally ran out when he could not judge a Mohammed Shami delivery that came into him and Rohit Sharma took a sharp catch at slip.
Tim Southee and Jimmy Neesham then tried to get things going by getting a quick-fire 32-run partnership. They hit all the bowlers all around the park. Shami however had the final laugh when Neesham (33) could not move his bat away in time to an outside the off stump delivery, edging it to Dhoni.
Southee tried to keep the momentum going after the tea break. He hit Jadeja for two massive sixes in the same over but finally fell to Ishant. He tried to shuffle across his stumps and turn the low full toss off his hips but ended up sending a leading edge to mid-wicket where Viajy took a sharp catch.
Shami picked up Trent Boult in the end, with Pujara taking a fantastic catch at short leg.
Earlier, MS Dhoni won the toss yet again and decided to bowl first.
Commentary, India Innings:
Commentary, New Zealand Innings: