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  • Jason Regan

NZ hang on in fading light to draw Test

New Zealand has held out for a draw on a dramatic final day of the opening Test against India in Kanpur.

Debutant Rachin Ravindra and No.11 batsman Ajaz Patel survived nearly nine overs on a turning wicket in fading light. They came together after the tourists had lost four wickets for ten runs in 15 overs on either side of tea, then three for 17 in 11 overs.

Chasing a target of 284 for victory on the final day, New Zealand had been well placed at 2-118 but slumped to 9-155 with a minimum 52 balls to go.  However, with fielders clustered around the bat Ravindra and Patel batted resolutely to deny India.

They had guided New Zealand to 9-165 when bad light stopped play. India had bowled the day's minimum requirement but there was still time for potentially three more overs. The umpires, however, had checked the light repeatedly and it was finally too dark.

Ravindra faced 91 balls for his 18 not out, while Patel survived 23 balls to be unbeaten on two.

Tom Latham top-scored for New Zealand with 52, but it was New Zealand's unbroken last-wicket partnership which saved the match for them.

"It has been touch and go around this time throughout this Test," New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said after the match.
"The Indian side is a formidable one, they were on top for the large part, but we hung around.
"All three results were in play but we fought hard and showed the fight on the last day."

Ravichandran Ashwin, who moved to 419 wickets - past Harbhajan Singh's 417 - and became the third on India's all-time list after Anil Kumble (619) and Kapil Dev (434).

After a wicketless morning session, India claimed three wickets in the second session to take charge, though they eventually had to settle for the draw. Ravindra Jadeja (4-40) and Ashwin (3-35) took the bulk of the wickets for the hosts.

"Very good game of cricket, they played really well," India captain Ajinkya Rahane said.
"I think the way we came back in the second session was very good."
Asked about his chat with the umpires when the light was being checked, Rahane said: "As a fielding team, you want to bowl more overs, as a batting unit you don't want to bat in that situation.
"The chat was about the light, but umpires made the call and I thought they were right."

India batsman Shreyas Iyer was adjudged man-of-the-match for smashing a century and a fifty in his debut Test. Both sides earned four points for a draw in the World Test Championship, the final of which they contested earlier this year with New Zealand winning.

The second and final Test starts in Mumbai on Friday. 


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