Ross Taylor scores a ton while Pragyan ojha creates history

first_imgNew Zealand captain Ross Taylor is not unfamiliar with the M Chinnaswamy Stadium as it was his home when he represented Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.So when his team was in dire straits on Friday, having lost two wickets for just 63 runs, he scored a century on a pitch he’s familiar with and rescued his team from embarrassment.Taylor scored his seventh century (177 minutes, 127 balls, 16x4s, 2x6s)- a superb 113 with his back against the wall- and helped his team finish the first day of the second and final Test on a highly satisfying 328 for six wickets before poor visibility cut short play.But by that time, New Zealand, trailing 0-1 in the series, were comfortably placed, thanks to half-centuries from Kruger van Wyk (63 batting, 85 balls, 9x4s) and opener Martin Guptill (53, 79 balls, 8x4s).The other unbeaten batsman is Doug Bracewell (30, 61 balls, 3x4s). Bracewell and van Wyk have so far added 82 for the seventh wicket, keeping New Zealand afloat.It was a day to remember for left-armer Pragyan Ojha, for not just taking a four-wicket haul but also for becoming the first specialist Indian spinner to open the bowling in a Test match.Captain MS Dhoni must have surely surprised opener Guptill, who faced the first ball, and many others by bringing Ojha on instead of pace spearhead Zaheer Khan. The last Indian spinner to bowl the first ball of a Test was late ML Jaisimha, a part-timer, in 1969.Zaheer, who went wicketless in the 24 overs he bowled in the first Test, shared the new balls with Ojha and struck with the fifth delivery as he had Brendon McCullum trapped leg before the wicket(LBW) when the Kiwis hadn’t even opened their account. It was first of the four LBW decisions of the day.advertisementThe rain, which was forecast, kept away for almost the entire day, though dark clouds remained for most of the playing time. And immediately after the play ended prematurely.Guptill and Kane Williamson (17) added 63 for the second wicket to infuse life after the sensational start in front of an almost empty stadium. At this score, Ojha, who captured six wickets in Hyderabad, had Williamson LBW.Guptill, who survived two chances, did not last long as he became Ojha’s second victim, caught by Gambhir at midwicket.Then came New Zealand’s partnership of the day, which made the Indian bowlers look highly ineffective. Despite being 89 for three wickets- all lost before the lunch interval- Taylor and Flynn scored 107 for the fourth wicket at a brisk rate in almost 19 overs.Taylor’s was almost blemishfree knock- his third century against India. Playing his 40th Test, he was particularly aggressive against Ojha and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.His flamboyance was best exhibited when he hammered four boundaries in an Ojha over on his way to 17th Test half-century off 46 balls, and his century off just 99 balls. He reached his hundred with a cut to the point fence off Ojha and then lofted him for his second six.It took Ashwin to break the Taylor-Flynn association with another LBW decision, as Flynn attempted a sweep shot.Soon after that, Suresh Raina at midwicket took a stunning catch off Ojha to signal the end of James Franklin (215/ 5) and the left-arm spinner also dismissed Taylor while he attempted a sweep shot.At 5.15 pm, it started pouring at the stadium. But the pitch and the bowlers’ run-up path as well as the areas on either side of the pitch were well covered.Number Crunching, Day One7- Number of centuries scored by Ross Taylor in 41 Tests. His ton on Friday was his 3rd against India in 8 matches. His score is also the highest individual score by any New Zealand batsman at this venue. Taylor improved on the record of John Wright who scored 58 in 1988-89 series.2- After Glen Turner’s 113 in Kanpur in 1976-77, Ross Taylor became only the second Kiwi captain to score a hundred on Indian soil.12- Number of half-centuries scored by Martin Guptil (53) in 26 Tests. It was his 2nd fifty against India in 7 Tests.11- Brenden McCullum failed to open his account. It was his 11th duck in 68 Tests- the 1st against India in 8 matches.4/90- The best bowling figures of Pragyan Ojha against New Zealand. His previous best was four for 107 in Ahmedabad in 2010-11 series328/6- The highest innings total of New Zealand at this venue. Their previous best was 233 in the 1995-96 series.63*- The highest score of Kruger van Wyk in his 7th match. His previous best was 39 against South Africa in Wellington in 2011-12 series.advertisementlast_img

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