Kohli, Ra­hane lead In­dia’s dom­i­nance against N Zealand

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Skip­per Vi­rat Kohli recorded his sec­ond dou­ble-cen­tury in Tests as he and Ajinkya Ra­hane helped In­dia post a crush­ing 557 for five de­clared against New Zealand at In­dore yes­ter­day.

The vis­i­tors were 28 with­out loss at stumps on day two of the third and fi­nal Test, with Martin Gup­till on 17 and Tom Latham on six, trail­ing by 529. The hosts, who started the day on 267 for three, rode on the 365-run fourth-wicket part­ner­ship be­tween Kohli (211) and Ra­hane (188) to flat­ten the New Zealand bowl­ing.

The part­ner­ship was In­dia’s best for the fourth wicket, sur­pass­ing the 353-run stand be­tween Sachin Ten­dulkar and VVS Lax­man against Aus­tralia at Syd­ney in 2004.

“This part­ner­ship was re­ally spe­cial. We were 100 for three and from there get­ting 365 was re­ally spe­cial. It will re­main in our mem­ory for a long time,” Ra­hane told re­porters. Kohli, who scored his maiden 200 against the West Indies in July, reg­is­tered his ca­reer-best Test score Sun­day with a dom­i­nat­ing dis­play.

The bats­man, who re­sumed the day on 103 in his 48th Test, scored runs all around the park with 20 bound­aries dur­ing his 366-ball stay at the crease.

Overnight part­ner Ra­hane was also in blaz­ing form, post­ing a ca­reer-best score in his 29th match af­ter com­plet­ing his eighth Test cen­tury. Ra­hane had to face a bar­rage of bounc­ers in the morn­ing ses­sion from the New Zealand quicks, with one of the short-pitched de­liv­er­ies from Matt Henry hit­ting his hel­met.

But the in­ci­dent only ap­peared to strengthen his re­solve and his marathon knock in­cluded 18 fours and four sixes. The bats­man sur­passed his pre­vi­ous best of 147 against Aus­tralia in 2015.

“It was tough out there, I was strug­gling yes­ter­day and I took my time. To­day we both de­cided to dom­i­nate the spin­ners af­ter we got our hun­dreds,” said Ra­hane, who started the day on 79.

Off-spin­ner Jee­tan Pa­tel fi­nally broke the big stand by trap­ping a tired Kohli lbw as he tried to whip away the turn­ing ball but missed the line com­pletely.


Kohli, 27, the only In­dian cap­tain to score two dou­ble hun­dreds, was given a stand­ing ova­tion by the ca­pac­ity crowd at In­dore’s Holkar Sta­dium, which is host­ing its first Test match.

Ra­hane con­tin­ued to frus­trate the New Zealand bowlers, but fi­nally ran out of steam and was caught be­hind off Trent Boult. He was also given a rous­ing send-off.

“It was great to see Vi­rat bat the way he did, learnt a lot of things. He’s improving as a bats­man and a leader,” said Ra­hane.

Rohit Sharma (51) and Ravin­dra Jadeja (17) then added some quick runs with an un­beaten 53-run stand for the sixth wicket. The in-form Sharma, who hit three fours and two sixes dur­ing his 63-ball knock, struck his third half-cen­tury of the se­ries as In­dia gained firm con­trol of the match.

Jadeja though was guilty of giv­ing away five runs af­ter be­ing pe­nalised by the on­field um­pires for stray­ing onto the dan­ger area of the pitch while run­ning be­tween the wick­ets. Jadeja was warned twice by the um­pires be­fore the of­fi­cials took the ex­treme step of cred­it­ing New Zealand with five runs.

Bowlers Boult and Pa­tel shared two wick­ets apiece af­ter the vis­i­tors were put in to field by In­dia on Satur­day. “Very, very high-qual­ity bat­ting. Took a very good de­liv­ery to cre­ate half-chances... I think we stuck to our plans well but we were worn down,” said New Zealand coach Mike Hes­son. “I think Kohli in par­tic­u­lar, I think he took 120 sin­gles, killed us softly.” In­dia have an unas­sail­able 2-0 lead in the three­match se­ries but are look­ing to com­plete a white­wash against the tourists.—

— AP

IN­DORE: In­dian bats­man Rohit Sharma, left, cel­e­brates his half cen­tury with Ravin­dra Jadeja dur­ing the sec­ond day of the third test cricket match be­tween In­dia and New Zealand in In­dore, In­dia, yes­ter­day.

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