Light playing a spoilsport, India fell one wicket short of registering a win in the first Test of the two-match series vs New Zealand at Kanpur’s Green Park Stadium. The Kiwi tail, especially debutant Rachin Ravindra battled the threat Indian spinners posed after lunch to avoid a defeat.
New Zealand started the fifth day needing 280 runs with nine wickets in their kitty. Night-watchman Will Somerville displayed a lot of character to defy the Indian bowling attack alongside senior opener Tom Latham during a wicket-less first session. Latham, who scored 95 in the first innings, once again brought his high quality defensive game against the spinners.
However, it was Rachin Ravindra who saved the game for the visitors. The spinner managed to stay unbeaten for 91 balls when Ashwin, Jadeja and Axar Patel were ripping through his partners on the other end. Ajaz Patel, played 23 balls, and Kyle Jamieson (30) also managed to hold their ground on day 5.
India had posted a 284 run-target for New Zealand to get in the final innings of the Test. Shreyas Iyer became the first Indian to score a century and fifty on Test debut when he went on to play a 65-run knock on Day 4 of the Kanpur Test.
“It’s a great feeling, but would been the icing on the cake if we had one the game. You can see that the pitch is still intact. We bowled really well. Mindset was to play sessions and play as many balls as possible. People say I am a flamboyant player, don’t curb my instintcs, but I was just looking to play as many balls,” Shreyas Iyer, the player of the match, said in the post match presentation.