Mayank Agarwal’s unbeaten century helps India build a sizeable first-day total as New Zealand’s Ajaz Patel impresses with four wickets

India lost Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Virat Kohli without adding a run; but opener Mayank Agarwal anchored the hosts brilliantly; Agarwal (120) and wicketkeeper Saha (25) are the last two genuine batters standing before the India tail

Last Updated: 03/12/21 1:35pm

India’s Mayank Agarwal hit a stunning 120no to leave India 221-4 on the first day

Mayank Agarwal’s battling 120no helped India recover from losing Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli for ducks as Ajaz Patel took all four wickets on the first day of the second and final Test against New Zealand in weather-hit Mumbai on Friday.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, the hosts were 80 without loss before Gill’s wicket, edging Patel to Ross Taylor at slip, sparked three quick-fire dismissals at the spin-friendly Wankhede Stadium.

In left-arm finger-spinner Patel’s next over, he bowled Pujara before dismissing captain Kohli lbw, both for nought.

From that point, India recovered well, doubling their score, and despite losing Shreyas Iyer (18) to make it 160-4, Agarwal completing his obdurate unbeaten century and Wriddiman Saha (25), in an unbroken parternship of 61, left them on top after the first day.

India opener Agarwal’s 120no came in 246 deliveries across more than five hours at the crease – the 30-year-old hit 14 fours and four sixes.

How India put themselves in a strong position

After seeing off Tim Southee, India started strongly, but ran into left-arm finger-spinner Patel, 33, in scintillating form from as early as the eighth over.

Patel – born in Mumbai before his parents moved to New Zealand in 1996 – snaffled Gill (25) and in his next over, took an additional two wickets – a spell of three dismissals for no runs across just 15 balls – to make it 80-3.

Captain Virat Kohli departed for a duck after just four balls

Captain Virat Kohli departed for a duck after just four balls

Kohli in particular was unhappy and appealed the decision, thinking he had hit the ball with his bat first, but TV umpire Virender Sharma felt there was not enough clear evidence to overturn Anil Choudhary’s on-field call.

Agarwal then reached his half-century, his first in 11 innings, before kicking on, swiping the dangerous Patel (4-73) straight down the ground and over long-on for six as he left the hosts in a strong position going into the second day on Saturday.

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