Pujara, Vihari save India’s sinking ship against New Zealand XI

vihari and pujara

Gritty knocks by Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari has helped India reach a modest total of 265 on the first day of the tour games against New Zealand XI in Hamilton. The Indians started the day on a disastrous note as they lost three of their crucial wickets under the span of the first 10 runs.

Mayank Agarwal was dismissed by Scott Kuggeleijn at the score of one while Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill could not even open their accounts before walking back to the dressing room. Two of India’s most experienced Test campaigners Cheteshwar Pujara and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane tried to stable the innings but James Neesham had some other plans. The right-arm medium picked up the prized scalp of Rahane in the 16th over to make things even worse for Team India.

At 38 for the loss of 4 wickets, India was in dire need of a partnership and thankfully, Pujara along with Hanuma Vihari stitched a 179-run stand to take the team over the 200-run mark.

India’s number three played in his signature style and took some deliveries to get into the mix. Vihari gave the much-needed assistance to Pujara and both the players took the Kiwi bowling line up head-on. Cheteshwar Pujara played a gritty knock of 93 off 211 balls before getting dismissed. His knock included 11 fours and 1 six.

Vihari continued to make runs but did not get any kind of support from the lower middler-order. In the process, the all-rounder brought up his century in 73rd over. The batsman could not carry forward his innings any further and decided to retire at the score of 101. His knock included 10 fours and 3 maximums.

The Indian side saw four ducks during the first innings. Apart from Shaw and Gill, wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin were also dismissed on zero. No other player than Pujara and Vihari could reach the 20-run mark.

Indian captain Virat Kohli did not bat. The match is devoid of the first-class status as the teams chose to use all the players in their squads for the match.

Kiwi fast bowler Scott Kuggeleijn pierced through the Indian batting line up and scalped three wickets while the leg-spinner Ish Sodhi also got 3 wickets to his name.

Day One ended with India getting bowled out at the score of 263.

Match Details:

India 263/10 (Hanuma Vihari 101, Cheteshwar Pujara 93; Scott Kuggeleijn 3/40, Ish Sodhi 3/72)