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Twitter Reactions: New Zealand on top after 16 wickets fall on a dramatic second day in Christchurch

India ended day 2 on 90/6 with a lead of 97 runs in the second innigs.

Trent Boult
Trent Boult. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Wow! It was Test cricket at its absolute best on Sunday at the Hagley Oval. The surface quickened up considerably and the bowlers made full use of the conditions. While India’s bowlers bowled incredible lengths in the morning and post-lunch session to bundle New Zealand out cheaply, the hosts came back strongly to end the day on top. A whopping 16 wickets fell in the day and it seems that a target of over 200 will be competitive in the second innings.

After gaining a slender but crucial seven-run lead in the first innings, India needed to start well in their second essay. But that didn’t happen as Trent Boult pinned Mayank Agarwal in front of the stumps in the second over itself. Prithvi Shaw played a sumptuous straight drive to get off the mark but Tim Southee surprised him with a well-directed short ball which he could only top-edge to Tom Latham at slip.

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Virat Kohli‘s New Zealand tour ended with yet another low score as Colin de Grandhomme replicated his first-innings dismissal. Amidst all the harakiri from his teammates, Cheteshwar Pujara stood tall in the middle and blunted the relentless pace attack. But there was no respite for the Indian batsmen by any means.

Ajinkya Rahane tried to stitch a partnership with Pujara but was literally threatened with relentless bouncers by Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner. And the move finally paid off when a bouncer from the latter stayed a tad low even as Rahane ended up playing a release shot back on to his stumps. Trent Boult got into work extracting a huge amount of swing to castle Pujara and nightwatchman Umesh Yadav.

Coming round the wicket to the right-handed batsmen, he managed to uproot the middle-stump by swinging the ball from almost fifth or sixth stump. On both occasions, the batsman was left stunned even as Boult refrained from celebrating after getting Yadav out as it was literally unplayable and even he was surprised.

Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant somehow then played out the rest of the day as India finished the day 90/6 after 36 overs with a total lead of 97 runs. Hoping that the pitch still behaves the same way, the visitors will be hoping to somehow eke out 100 more runs and then have a go at New Zealand in a bid to level the series. Vihari and Pant will have to do the bulk of the scoring with Ravindra Jadeja yet to bat as well.

Ravindra Jadeja and Indian bowlers shine earlier in the day

Earlier, it was all about the Indian bowlers and Jadeja. Learning from their mistakes on the first day, the likes of Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah bowled impeccable lines to trouble the Kiwi openers from the word go. Tom Blundell was the first one to go who was nipped out by Umesh Yadav while Bumrah sent back Kane Williamson.

Wickets fell kept on falling, some due to the bowlers’ brilliance while few due to Jadeja’s fielding excellence. The gun fielder took a sharp catch to send back BJ Watling for a duck while his single-handed stunner at deep square leg to send back Wagner was the talking point whole day. Jadeja also picked wickets of Ross Taylor and Colin de Grandhomme.

Mohammed Shami also struck timely sending back Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Kyle Jamieson and Wagner. India, at one stage, had left the Kiwis reeling at 153/7 and 177/8. But Wagner and Jamieson stitched 51 runs for the ninth wicket to get close to India’s total and were eventually bundled out for 235 runs in 73.1 overs.

Despite a stunning comeback, India are left with all the running to do on the third morning to have any chance of levelling the series thanks to some scintillating bowling from New Zealand.

Here’s how Twitter reacted:

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