Chasing a target of 284 runs for victory, the New Zealand team scored 165 runs for nine wickets. India had scored 345 runs in the first innings while the second innings were declared for 234 for seven. New Zealand’s team was out for 296 runs in the first innings.
On the fifth and last day, where the Kiwi batsmen dominated in the first session, in the second session, India came back with three wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja had almost assured India’s victory by taking three and four wickets respectively but Ravindra and Aijaz, like Angad, dashed the hosts’ plans.
New Zealand’s ninth wicket fell for 155 in the 90th over with eight overs still to be played. Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane also put in a very aggressive field but Ravindra (18) played 91 balls and Aijaz (2) played 23 balls to push the match towards a draw.
India needed six wickets in the last session but could not get a couple of wickets in the end and victory slipped out of hand. Meanwhile, Ashwin overtook Harbhajan Singh to become the third highest wicket-taker for India in Test cricket.
In the first session, Will Somerville and Tom Latham did not give any success to the Indian bowlers but the second session was in the name of the Indian bowlers who took three wickets. Just after lunch, Umesh Yadav dismissed Somerville with a short ball, who made 36 off 110 balls. Shubman Gill took his catch at long leg boundary.
Williamson looked confident compared to the first innings, who also hit Ishant Sharma for a four. Ishant’s form was again disappointing.
Ross Taylor was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja before tea. Tom Latham (52 off 146 balls) scored another half-century which was dismissed by Ashwin.
It was Ashwin’s 418th wicket in the 80th Test, overtaking Harbhajan. Harbhajan has 417 wickets in 103 Tests.
In the last session, Jadeja raised India’s hopes by dismissing New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (24) lbw. He also sent Jamieson (five) and Southee (four) to the pavilion.
In the morning the Indian bowlers did not get any help from the pitch. Latham diddge a ball from Jadeja. India took DRS on the ball going outside the off-stump but it was clear from the review that the ball was not hitting the wicket.
Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav also could not bowl like Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson on this pitch. Ishant didn’t seem to be in quite the rhythm in the first spell. He and Umesh also bowled short deliveries but Somerville did not budge. Somerville, who usually comes down to No. 10, also hit Umesh for three fours, which boosted his confidence.
Latham, who was five runs from a century in the first innings, played a defensive game against the spinners but also hit Jadeja for a boundary.