India battle back

PA Sport
Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni's, pictured, century partnership gave India hope against New Zealand
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Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni's, pictured, century partnership gave India hope against New Zealand

A century partnership between Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni gave India hope of establishing a first-innings lead in the second Test against New Zealand in Bangalore.

The tourists turned their overnight 328 for six into 365 - but battled back strongly to have India teetering on 80 for four.

However, Kohli (93 not out) and Suresh Raina (55) led the revival, which was continued when Dhoni arrived at the crease, as India closed the second day on 283 for five - a deficit of 82 runs.

Ross Taylor's century on Friday had given New Zealand a welcome boost as they looked to erase memories of their humiliating first Test defeat. However, things did not go to plan as Kruger Van Wyk fell to Zaheer Khan for 71, with Raina taking the catch, before a mix-up between Doug Bracewell and Tim Southee saw the former run out also by Zaheer for 43.

With the two dangermen gone, the hosts wasted little time in taking the final two wickets of Jeetan Patel (nought) and Southee (14), who became Pragyan Ojha's fifth wicket when he was hit on the pads by the spinner. It meant New Zealand had lost their last four wickets for just 37 runs.

Any hopes India had of making a flying start soon diminished when Southee struck in the fourth over, removing Gautam Gambhir's bails with the opener on two. Cheteshwar Pujara fared little better, dismissed for nine after pushing a delivery from Southee to Trent Boult at fine leg.

Virender Sehwag became the third wicket to fall on 43 when he flicked Bracewell to Daniel Flynn at short midwicket, and the same bowler struck again two overs later to remove talisman Sachin Tendulkar, the veteran adding just 17 to India's total before being bowled.

Raina and Kohli brought some much-needed stability, however, with the former smashing eight fours and a six on his way to a quickfire half-century. Kohli was more sedate in his approach but still produced four boundaries as the pair injected some life into India's innings. The hosts reached tea on 168 for four, with Raina unbeaten on 51 and Kohli 33 not out.

Just 11 runs had been added after the resumption when the partnership ended. Raina was caught by Van Wyk off the bowling of Southee for 55, ending a stand of 99. However, Kohli and Dhoni continued the good work, with an unbroken partnership of 104 in 27.3 overs moving them to within 82 runs of the tourists at stumps.

Kohli ended the day within seven runs of a century, having hit 12 fours and a six, while Dhoni's undefeated 46 contained five fours and two sixes.

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