NZ vs IND: New Zealand 46/0 at lunch, inch towards target of 132

It was a real challenge for the Indian batsmen but what would really hurt Virat Kohli is the singular lack of resistance,

New Zealand closed in on a comprehensive series victory, reaching 46 for no loss at lunch in pursuit of a target of 132 against India on the third day of the second Test here on Monday.

Openers Tom Latham (23 batting) and Tom Blundell (16 batting) safely negotiated the 15 overs going into lunch as India face the ignominy of losing a Test match well under three days. With only 86 runs required to win, the match is expected to get over before tea time.

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Blundell had three fours in 51 balls while Latham also had three hits to fence off 39 deliveries as the Indian pacers went through the motion, dejected that the batsmen couldn’t even provide them with a target of 180, which wouldn’t have been too bad in the seamer-friendly conditions at the Hagley Oval.

Earlier, India’s lower-order had suffered another familiar collapse with the last four wickets adding only 34 runs, as the team was all out for 124 in only 46 overs.

It was the pair of Tim Southee (3/36 in 11 overs) and Trent Boult (4/28 in 14 overs), which once again tormented the Indian batsmen who were all at sea against quality bowling on a slightly challenging track.

Neil Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme, with a wicket each, had played the ideal supporting role in India’s decimation for the fourth successive time in the series.

Hanuma Vihari (9) was caught down the leg-side off an innocuous Southee delivery while Pant’s defensive jab only resulted in a nick off Boult’s bowling. There was no resistance left but Ravindra Jadeja (16) ensured that the target for New Zealand is slightly higher than the one in the first Test.

In overcast and windy conditions, it was a real challenge for the Indian batsmen but what would really hurt Virat Kohli is the singular lack of resistance, including indiscreet shot selection, for most part of the series.

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