Rain frustrates Black Caps in Kanpur


Rain denied New Zealand a chance to take control of the first Test against India on Friday, with the Black Caps trailing by 166 runs at stumps on a curtailed day two in Kanpur.

The hosts, playing in their 500th Test, resumed at 291-9 at Green Park and were all out for 318, Ravindra Jadeja (42 not out) and Umesh Yadav (9) adding a further 27 runs to the overnight total in a valuable partnership of 41 for the last wicket.

Neil Wagner (2-15) was the man to dislodge Yadav, his short delivery angled into the body drawing a fend from the tail-ender, who gloved the ball to wicket-keeper BJ Watling.

Yadav took revenge quickly by making an early breakthrough for India in the field, trapping Martin Guptill lbw for 21 in the 10th over.

It was a welcome dismissal for the hosts, Guptill having made a brisk start and reaching the boundary three times from 31 deliveries. 

Skipper Kane Williamson came to the crease and proved tougher to dislodge alongside watchful surviving opener Tom Latham, as both men recorded half-centuries. 

The Black Caps' captain had seven fours and Latham five as they reached 65 and 56 not out respectively, guiding New Zealand to 152-1.

Rain arrived shortly before tea to force a premature halt to proceedings, just as the flight and dip of Ravichandran Ashwin had begun to threaten the obdurate duo at the crease.

For their part, Latham and Williamson in particular coped well with the turning ball, exhibiting excellent footwork and playing late, while using the sweep shot to good effect.

Both men survived scares, Latham escaping because the ball brushed the helmet of KL Rahul as he attempted to take a catch at short leg. 

Williamson, meanwhile, got away with seemingly edging Jadeja to wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha, and the pair will hope to push on when day three gets underway earlier than originally scheduled on Saturday, in an attempt to make up for some of the lost overs.