Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s career-best figures of six for 31 helped India easily enforce the follow-on against New Zealand on third day but inclement weather stood in the path hosts’ victory in the first cricket Test being played here today.
The New Zealand first innings folded at 159 as Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha three for 44 shared the bulk of the spoils as hosts had a hige 279-run first innings lead. In the second innings New Zealand were 41 for one when umpires decided to call off play. Only 37.3 overs of play was possible on the day.
Brendon McCullum was batting on 16 in company of Kane Williamson who had scored three. The match was stopped 47 minutes before the scheduled tea-break. New Zealand still require 239 runs to erase the deficit which looks highly unlikely until the ‘Weather Gods’ intervene like it did today.
With thick dark clouds hovering over the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, covers were put on for the second time in the day as heavens opened up within minutes.
The heavy showers lasted for more than an hour with puddles of water all around the ground. With no respite in sight, the match officials called off the day’s proceedings at 2.56pm.
Call it the BCCI’s bizzare planning to hold a series at a time when the entire country is under the spell of South-West monsoon.
Resuming at 106 for five on day three, the Kiwis lost their remaining wickets at the stroke of lunch with the ‘spin twins’ Ashwin and Ojha wrapping it up in quick time. Only 19.3 overs were required to take the remaining five New Zealand wickets.