Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Crucial fifties from Shreyas Iyer and Wriddhiman Saha set NZ 284 target

Jaffer: Iyer backs his game, whatever the situation (1:30)

Shreyas Iyer scored a half-century in the second innings to go with his century in the first in his debut Test (1:30)

Stumps New Zealand 296 and 4 for 1 (Latham 2*, Somerville 0*, Ashwin 1-3) trail India 345 and 234 for 7 dec (Iyer 65, Saha 61*, Jamieson 3-40, Southee 3-75) by 280 runs

Debutant Shreyas Iyer followed up his 105 in the first innings with 65 to help India set New Zealand a target of 284 in the first Test in Kanpur. He was well-supported by Wriddhiman Saha, who struck an unbeaten 61 after being off the field with a stiff neck on day three.

In the morning session, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Ajaz Patel had reduced India to 51 for 5, but Iyer and R Ashwin eased the hosts' nerves with a 52-run stand for the sixth wicket. Then, Iyer and Saha added 64 for the seventh wicket to take India's lead past 200.

Iyer was caught down the leg side off Southee in the last over before tea but Saha and Axar Patel dashed any hopes New Zealand might have had of keeping the target under 250. The two added 67 in 20.4 overs in an unbroken eighth-wicket stand without showing any urgency until the very end.

India finally declared on 234 for 7, and in the four overs possible before bad light forced stumps, Ashwin dismissed Will Young lbw with the one that kept low. Had Young opted for the review in time, he would have survived as replays showed the ball was spinning past leg stump.

Saha kept wickets at the start of New Zealand's second innings but was substituted by KS Bharat after only two overs.

Earlier, it was surprising to see Kane Williamson starting with batting allrounder Rachin Ravindra after lunch with India placed precariously on 84 for 5. To his credit, Ravindra was tidy but didn't pose much of a threat. From the other end, Southee's short-ball ploy against Ashwin didn't quite come off either.

It was Jamieson who eventually broke the stand with Ashwin chopping one onto his stumps, but by then India's lead had crossed 150.

Meanwhile, Iyer showed great maturity, playing the ball late on a slow pitch and picking up the majority of his runs in the third man region. He brought up his half-century off 109 balls, becoming the first India batter - and 16th overall - to score a hundred and a fifty in his first Test.

Saha stuck around with Iyer and even hit William Somerville for a four and a six off successive deliveries, the first of those shots bursting through Henry Nicholls' fingers at midwicket.

Iyer looked to bat more freely after his half-century. While he couldn't add too many to his tally, his knock had put India in a comfortable position.

With India starting the day on 14 for 1, Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal were offered some freebies on the pads as Jamieson and Southee bowled straight with a catching short midwicket in place. While Agarwal struggled, Pujara made good use of the opportunities and moved to 22 off 32 balls.

However, Jameison then banged one short, and even though the ball was angling down the leg side, Pujara ended up fending at it and gloved it to the wicketkeeper. The on-field umpire ruled it not out but New Zealand got the decision overturned on review.

Ajinkya Rahane had scored a valuable 35 in the first innings but on Sunday he didn't look comfortable at the crease. He opened his account off his 14th ball with a four off Ajaz but the left-arm spinner trapped him lbw on the very next ball with the one that went on with the arm.

Coming back for his second spell of the day, Southee drew the outside edge of Iyer's bat straightaway, but the ball went for four through the gap between the wicketkeeper and a wide first slip. That prompted New Zealand to have a more conventional slip cordon, and soon there was another opportunity. In Southee's next over, Agarwal edged an outswinger to second slip, where Tom Latham took a tumbling catch to his left.

Two balls later, Southee jolted India further by dismissing Ravindra Jadeja lbw from around the wicket. With half the side back in the pavilion and it not being clear then if Saha would bat, India's lead of 100 looked paltry.

Iyer and Ashwin, though, eased some of the pressure by hitting four fours in the next three overs and played out the rest of the first session without further damage.

New Zealand 4th innings Partnerships

1st3TWM LathamWA Young
2nd76WER SomervilleTWM Latham
3rd39KS WilliamsonTWM Latham
4th7LRPL TaylorKS Williamson
5th1KS WilliamsonHM Nicholls
6th2KS WilliamsonTA Blundell
7th10TA BlundellR Ravindra
8th9KA JamiesonR Ravindra
9th8TG SoutheeR Ravindra
10th10AY PatelR Ravindra