Raina, Kohli to India’s rescue (Tea Lead)

September 1st, 2012 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Gautam Gambhir Bangalore, Sep 1 (IANS) India’s young guns Suresh Raina (51 batting) and Virat Kohli (33 batting) guided the hosts to 168 for four at tea after New Zealand seamers tore through the top order on the second day of the second Test here Saturday.

Reduced to 80 for four after double strikes from Tim Southee and Doug Bracewell, it was left to Raina and Kohli to restore order to the innings that threatened to fall apart as India began their reply to Kiwi first innings total of 365.

The fifth wicket pair had put on 88 runs during their entertaining partnership that survived some early tremors in the wake of some hostile spells by Southee and Bracewell.

Southee removed opener Gautam Gambhir (2) who lost the off bail when he shouldered arms and Cheteshwar Pujara (9) who was tempted into a hook shot to be caught in the deep.

At the other end, Virender Sehwag (43) after another hit-and-miss innings fell uppishly flicking Bracewell to square-leg and the Kiwi seamer struck five balls later, castling Sachin Tendulkar (17) who was bowled through the gate when looking to open up.

Raina and Kohli who was circumspect to start with, put together a fine partnership to steady the Indian boat. Raina, the aggressive of the two, played some lovely strokes while Kohli too prospered once the pitch rolled out flatter under welcome sunshine.

The Kiwi attack too lost its early sting and both batsmen looked very much at ease while dealing with seam and the rather innocuous off-spin of Jeetan Patel.

Earlier in the day, the Kiwi innings that began at the overnight total of 328 for six, lasted just 8.4 overs as the Indians picked up four wickets without much ado.

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha finished with five for 90 from 28.1 overs while Zaheer Khan had two for 83. The other seamer, Umesh Yadav, finally had a wicket to show and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (1 for 82) did not have to bowl.

The only interest when the Kiwis resumed was whether they would get to 400, but it was not to be as Kruger van Wyk added just eight to his overnight score of 63 and his exit hastened the end of the innings.

Van Wyk, who put on 99 for the seventh wicket with Bracewell (43), edged Zaheer to Raina in the slips in the fourth over of the day to trigger a mini collapse. Bracewell backed up too far and was short of crease when Zaheer deflected Southee’s push on to the stumps while Patel (0) was caught at third man off Yadav and Southee (14) was trapped in front by Ojha.

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