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Ajinkya Rahane holds fort as Kyle Jamieson torments India on rain-hit Day 1

New Zealand's debutant Kyle Jamieson was the pick of the day with his brilliant 3/38. Apart from scalping the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari, he also dismissed Virat Kohli on 2.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: February 21, 2020 3:46:44 pm
Ajinkya Rahane ended the day unbeaten on 38. (Source: AP Photo)

In a rain-hit Day 1 of the first Test between India and New Zealand at the Basin Reserve on Friday, the visiting Men in Blue had a torrid time as they ended the day on 122/5 with Ajinkya Rahane standing tall with an unbeaten 38 alongside rookie Rishabh Pant.

After tea break, the proceedings didn’t resume after multiple inspections over the course of more than an hour. Although the rain had stopped, umpires Aleem Dar and Richard Kettlebrough ended play at about 5.30 PM in local time after a pitch inspection.

While Rahane steadied the ship and played a mature innings to save the day for his team, New Zealand’s debutant Kyle Jamieson was the pick of the day with his brilliant 3/38. Also taking a catch in the deep, the towering pace bowler stole the headlines from Ross Taylor, who was playing his 100th Test.

“From a team perspective we are in a pretty strong position,” Jamieson told reporters. “The game is quite advanced and we are pretty happy with where it is.

“From my experience playing here, the (wicket) usually holds that pace and bounce for a couple of days, so I am sure there will still be a little bit tomorrow to help us and I’m looking forward to getting back out there.”

READ | India fall to Kiwis’ mix of bouncer barrage, odd full-length ball

Jamieson was called up for the experienced Neil Wagner, whose wife is expecting their first child. After making his international white-ball debut this season, he easily filled the shoes of Wagner and ensured New Zealand took advantage of an influential toss, which Kane Williamson won.

Jamieson’s first wicket in Tests was Cheteshwar Pujara (11) and his third, not long before rain shortened the day to two sessions, was Hanuma Vihari (7). The one he will remember longest was India captain Virat Kohli (2) who was out before lunch and whose dismissal swung the balance of the match in the Kiwis’ favor.

READ | Ross Taylor: The triple centurion

Jamieson also held a steepling catch at fine leg from a mistimed hook shot by opener Mayank Agarwal (34) off Trent Boult, who had dropped a difficult caught and bowled chance on the previous delivery. Tim Southee had bowled Prithvi Shaw for 16 early in the first session.

“As a batsman, you never felt like you were completely in,” Agarwal said of the testing conditions and the pressure New Zealand’s bowlers were able to exert on their lineup.

“They bowled good areas and kept testing us and didn’t give us anything loose.Even after lunch, it was doing a little bit.”

Ajinkya Rahane will resume on Saturday on 38 while the recalled Rishabh Pant will be with him on 10.

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