NZ set up absorbing finish to second Test
Mon, 03 Sep 2012 8:35a.m.
An absorbing fourth day looms as an improved New Zealand seek to square the Test series against India in Bangalore.
The BlackCaps ended the third day with a lead of 244 runs and one wicket remaining in their second innings, having earlier dismissed the hosts for 353 thanks to a seven-wicket bag from Tim Southee.
Following their innings and 115-run loss in the first Test at Hyderabad, the tourists have been competitive throughout the second and final Test.
They closed on 232 for nine on Sunday, with India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin taking five for 69 as most of the batsmen made starts without any managing to get past 50.
Jeetan Patel (10 not out) and Trent Boult (nought not out) were the men at the crease at stumps after decent contributions from captain Ross Taylor (35), Daniel Flynn (31), James Franklin (41), Kruger van Wyk (31) and Doug Bracewell (22).
Flynn and Franklin were comfortable in the middle and looked to be taking the match away from India before the former cut Ashwin straight to Virender Sehwag at first slip.
India have chased down a score of 250 or more in the fourth innings to win a Test just six times in their history.
Indian batsman Virat Kohli believed it was within his team to achieve.
"The wicket doesn't have that much," he said.
"Their seam bowlers bowled well in the morning. I think the morning freshness of the wicket that stays for about an hour is the only factor, and they used that well. Apart from that, if we apply ourselves, I think we'll be in a good position."
Earlier, New Zealand paceman Southee finished with Test-best figures of seven for 64, including the wickets of overnight batsman Kohli for 103 and Mahendra Singh Dhoni for 62, as India could only add 70 to their 283 for five overnight.
Southee was almost unplayable in the morning, accounting for four of the five wickets to fall.
Kohli completed his second Test hundred but was dismissed just three runs later, trapped lbw by Southee, while Dhoni went the same way soon afterwards.
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