Third Test: Kiwis off to tentative start chasing stiff target

Indore: New Zealand were on 38/1 in their second innings, still needing 437 runs for a win at tea on the fourth day of the third Test against India at the Holkar Cricket Stadium here on Tuesday.

Martin Guptill (8 batting) and skipper Kane Williamson (23 batting) were at the crease when the teams went in for tea. India declared their second innings at 216/3 and set a 475-run target for New Zealand.

Fast bowler Umesh Yadav dealth the Kiwis an early blow in their second innnings by dismissing opener Tom Latham (6).

However, Williamson and Guptil ensured that the visitors sufferred no more jolts before tea as they scored at a healthy rate. Williamson smashed four boundaries off the 27 deliveries he has faced so far while Guptill has one hit to the ropes to his credit.

Earlier, Cheteshwar Pujara smashed an unbeaten century as India declared their second innings at 216/3 to set a stiff 475-run target for New Zealand, who are already 0-2 down in the three-Test seriess.

Pujara was unbeaten on 101 runs off 148 balls with Ajinkya Rahane (23 not out) batting at the other end when captain Virat Kohli decided to declare the innings midway through the post-lunch session.

Pujara, who has been in good form in this series, thus completed the seventh century of his Test career. He has also scored three half-centuries during the series.

The Saurashtra batsman hit nine boundaries during his innings.

Among the New Zealand bowlers, off-spinner Jeetan Patel was the only one to bag wickets with figures of 2/56.

Patel trapped Kohli leg before shortly after lunch with a delivery that turned and hit the Indian captain on the pads after pitching just outside off stump.

The Kiwi spinner of Indian origin had dismissed Gautam Gambhir during the morning session. The third wicket, that of Murali Vijay, fell to a run-out.

During the morning session,, Gambhir and Pujara hit half-centuries to carry India to a dominant position at lunch.

At the end of the first session of the day, India were at 127/2 in their second innings, having extended their lead to 385 runs.

For India, Pujara and Kohli were at the crease at the lunch break.

Gambhir (50), who has won back his place in the team after quite a long gap, completed his half-century off just 56 deliveries before being sent back to the pavilion by Kiwi spinner Jeetan Patel.

Brief scores:

India: 557/5 declared and 216/3 declared (Cheteshwar Pujara 101 not out, Gautam Gambhir 50; Jeetan Patel 2/56) vs New Zealand 299 and 38/1 (Kane Williamson 23 batting).