Cricket-New Zealand draw opening test against India in Kanpur

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC World Test Championship Final - India v New Zealand - Rose Bowl, Southampton, Britain - June 23, 2021 New Zealand's Tom Latham in action. Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -Debutant Rachin Ravindra and number 11 batsman Ajaz Patel survived intense pressure to help New Zealand draw the opening test against India in Kanpur on Monday.

Chasing a target of 284 for victory on the final day, New Zealand slumped to 155-9 with nearly nine overs to go and an upbeat India was pressing for victory in fading light.

But Ravindra and Patel batted resolutely to deny India and guided New Zealand to 165-9 when bad light stopped play.

Ravindra faced 91 balls for his 18 not out, while Patel survived 23 balls to be unbeaten on two.

Tom Latham topscored for New Zealand with 52, but it was New Zealand’s unbroken last-wicket partnership which saved the match for them.

“It has been touch and go around this time throughout this test,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said after the match.

“The Indian side is a formidable one, they were on top for the large part, but we hung around.

“All three results were in play but we fought hard and showed the fight on the last day.”

After a wicketless morning session, India claimed three wickets in the second session to take charge, though they eventually had to settle for a draw.

Ravindra Jadeja (4-40) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3-35) took the bulk of the wickets for the hosts.

“Very good game of cricket, they played really well,” India captain Ajinkya Rahane said.

“I think the way we came back in the second session was very good.”

Asked about his chat with the umpires when the light was being checked, Rahane said, “As a fielding team, you want to bowl more overs, as a batting unit you don’t want to bat in that situation.

“The chat was about the light, but umpires made the call and I thought they were right.”

India batsman Shreyas Iyer was adjudged man-of-the-match for smashing a century and a fifty in his debut test.

The second and final test starts in Mumbai on Friday.

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