New Zealand openers defy Indian spinners in Kanpur Test

Young and Lathan add 129 for the first wicket after Southee five-wicket haul checks hosts' progress

New Zealand clawed their way back into the first Test in Kanpur against India after a breathtaking century stand from their openers Will Young and Tom Latham.

India seemed to be in control after debutant Shreyas Iyer scored a century, but he was out for 105 to veteran Seamer Tim Southee, who ended up taking five wickets for 69 and that restricted India's first innings total to 345.

The surface at the Green Park Stadium lacked any pace or bounce, and it looked like India's spinners Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel would run through the Black Caps lineup.

However, Young (75 not out) and Latham (50 not out) kept India's bowlers at bay for 57 overs to reach 129-0 by stumps, and swing the momentum in their favour.

Earlier, India resumed on 258-4 and all eyes were on Iyer as the 26-year-old approached his hundred.

He hit fast bowler Kyle Jamieson (3-91) for back-to-back boundaries and then took two off him to bring up his century.

Southee, who had dismissed Ravindra Jadeja for his overnight score of 50, then decimated India's middle and lower order.

His victims included Iyer, who made 105 before playing a lazy drive that was pouched by Young at cover. It was a tame end to an otherwise stellar knock that included with two sixes and 13 boundaries.

Spinner Ajaz Patel removed the last two Indian batsmen as New Zealand conceded just 87 runs on Friday for the last six wickets.

It was a particularly commendable effort from Southee as he had missed a part of Thursday's play with a groin strain but returned after taking pain-killers.

"Having played a bit of cricket, you tend to sort of be able to play through some sort of stiffness and some soreness," he said.

"It's nothing new to be able to play through a little bit of pain. I think the best painkiller is wickets."

Updated: November 26th 2021, 11:58 AM
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