Tim McIntosh fought back after a pair in Ahmedabad to score a century on Day 1 of the Second Test Match at Ahmedabad. New Zealand have finished the first day’s play having won the toss and electing to bat first to 258 for 4 on what turned out to be a batsman friendly pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
New Zealand went into this Second Test with three changes – Martin Guptill, Tim Southee and Brent Arnel replacing the trio of BJ Watling, Jeetan Patel and Hamish Bennett. India remained unchanged on the other hand. It was a bad start for the visitors with Sreesanth producing a bouncing away going seamer from middle which forced an outside edge from Brendon McCullum (4) in the 4th over of the match. New Zealand almost lost their second wicket when one down batsman Martin Guptill edged a perfect outswinger from Sreesanth to the keeper but that went wasted because of the bowler overstepping the crease! After that incident, New Zealand through Tim McIntosh and Martin Guptill took control as they went to lunch at 75 for 1 in 26 overs.
The afternoon session as well turned out to be a flat one for India and they could only manage to pick up the wicket of Martin Guptill who was given out lbw to a Pragyan Ojha delivery which appeared to be sliding down the legside. Guptill struck 85 from 160 balls (with 9 fours and a six) in a second wicket partnership of 147 with McIntosh. New Zealand went to Tea at 159 for 2 in 55 overs with McIntosh just crossing a half century.
McIntosh’s new partner Ross Taylor fell after Tea having looked so good with his powerful drives. In the 69th over, Taylor (24 from 53 balls) drove well away from his body to a Zaheer Khan reversing outswinger to get caught behind. He added up 55 runs for the third wicket with McIntosh who fell minutes before the close of play after chopping a forward defensive shot off Zaheer Khan onto his stumps. By then the second new ball was taken by India. McIntosh fell for 102 which came in 254 balls with 10 fours and a six.
By Stumps, New Zealand had Jesse Ryder (22* from 64 balls) along with Wicket Keeper Gareth Hopkins (0*) who was sent in as a night watchman. Sreesanth looked as the most impressive bowlers for India while Zaheer was the most successful with 2 for 41.