IND vs NZ 1st test, Day 4: Saha and Axar played a crucial partnership, Kiwis need 280 runs to win

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India declared their second innings at 234/7 on Day 4. The Kiwis, who ended the fourth day at 4/1, needs 280 runs on final day to win. No international team has chased more than 276 runs in the fourth innings in Tests on Indian soil. Veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed the Kiwis’ opener Will Young (1) just minutes before the stumps. Ashwin equaled Harbhajan Singh’s record of 417 Test wickets.

Earlier, Shreyas Iyer played a blistering knock for his 65 runs. Iyer became the first Indian in the test history to score a century and a half-century on debut. Wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha delivered an excellent batting effort under pressure. Earlier, Saha went off the field during the Kiwis’ first innings due to neck pain. Saha showed high spirit and remained unbeaten on 61.

Ashwin (32) and all-rounder Axar Patel (28*) played a crucial role to put India in a strong position. Indian low-order batters shined after the top and middle-order failed to score well.  Kiwi bowlers reduced India to 51/5 during the first session of the day. Kiwi pacers Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson created more problems for the Indian batters and took wickets at regular intervals.   

Saha and Axar played an important partnership and added 67 runs to boost the total. Ajinkya Rahane’s poor form continued as Ajaz Patel trapped him leg before for just 4 runs. Southee dismissed Jadeja for a duck. Jamieson cleaned up Ashwin, who was looking good with the bat.

Southee and Jamieson bagged three wickets each. Kiwi spinner Ajaz finished with one wicket. All Indian fans expect team India to produce a stunning performance and register a dominating victory.

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