Wellington, Feb 15: Opener Shikhar Dhawan (98) fell two runs short of his third hundred but managed to steer India to 201 for five, giving them a nine-run lead at lunch against New Zealand on day two of the second and final Test at the Basin Reserve here Saturday.
India, who bowled out the hosts for 192 on the first day, had Virat Kohli (27 batting) and Ajinkya Rahane (22 batting) at the crease.
It was an even session all round. India scored 101 runs, with New Zealand taking three wickets.
Ishant Sharma (26), who had picked up six wickets in the Kiwis’ first innings, batted brilliantly to keep the opposition bowlers at bay early in the morning session.
It took a one handed catch from wicket-keeper B.J Watling to finally dismiss Ishant.
Watling was again at hand to snap up Dhawan’s edge off the bowling of pacer Tim Southee. Dhawan had looked well on his way to a third Test hundred and his maiden century in New Zealand but lost his concentration during a crucial moment.
Rohit Sharma (0) once again failed to deliver. He fished for a ball well outside the off-stump, managing only to drag it back on to his stumps.
His continuous failures will have the dressing room worried and time could be running out for the right-hander.
Kohli and Rahane looked very solid and will look to press on in the afternoon session, stringing together a 36-run partnership
-Indo-Asian News Service