Ojha strikes twice as Kiwis struggle (Lead)

August 31st, 2012 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Ross Taylor Bangalore, Aug 31 (IANS) New Zealand struggled to 108/3 at lunch despite a laboured 53 by Martin Guptill who was dropped twice on the first day of the second cricket Test against India here Friday.

Skipper Ross Taylor (27) and Daniel Flynn (7) were at the crease.

Choosing to bat after winning the toss, the Kiwis threw away the advantage and none of the batsmen looked at home in conditions that aided some seam movement under overcast skies that required the floodlights to be switched on.

For India, left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who opened the bowling, came away with two wickets after seamer Zaheer Khan made the breakthrough by trapping opener Brendon McCullum (0) plumb in front in the very second over.

In the very next over, Guptill (0) was lucky that his edge off Ojha eluded a diving lone slip Virender Sehwag for New Zealand’s first runs.

Guptill and Kane Williamson (17) batted with a great deal of circumspection to add 63 runs for the second wicket, but were never quite able to dictate the pace.

Guptill (17) was lucky a second time when Virat Kohli dropped a regulation catch in the second slip off Zaheer, and the Kiwi opener went on to play a few pleasing strokes to get to his half-century off 62 deliveries before seeing the exit of Williamson who was adjudged leg-before, beaten by the turn that Ojha extracted.

Not long after, Guptill’s vigil ended when he flicked Ojha to Gautam Gambhir at mid-wicket as the Kiwis slid to 89/3.

Thereafter, Taylor, who did not hide his aggressive intent, and southpaw Flynn negotiated the half-hour to lunch and some respite from ceaseless pressure.

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