Indian seam duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami rattled the New Zealand top-order to leave them at a spot of bother at 85-4 when tea was taken early due to rain on day 2 of the second cricket Test in Kolkata on Saturday.
In reply to India’s first innings total of 316, New Zealand were still trailing by 231 runs when rain stopped play with 40 minutes to go for the scheduled tea break.
New Zealand stand-in skipper Ross Taylor (30) was at the crease after in-form Luke Ronchi just departed for 35 being adjudged lbw to Jadeja to a dubious decision.
Reduced to 23-3 shortly after lunch break when Kumar (2/20) castled Henry Nicholls, Taylor and Ronchi (35) put in their best effort to build a partnership but it did not last long with Jadeja cutting it short for 62 runs.
Ronchi was trapped on his backfoot from an angled delivery from Jadeja which seemed to have gone down the leg but umpire Rod Tucker had other ideas as he gifted India another opening.
In fact, Ronchi’s innings almost ended at 16 but he was dropped at point by substitute Gautam Gambhir who seemed slow to react and let down a regulation catch.
Suddenly a thick cloud covered the Eden sky and a passing shower meant that the match had to be stopped for an early tea break.
Earlier, youngster Nicholls who replaced skipper Kane Williamson in the side dragged a widish delivery onto his stumps in a replay of Shikhar Dhawan’s dismissal as India kept taking regular breakthroughs.
In reply to India’s 316, New Zealand lost Tom Latham (1) and Martin Guptill (13) in successive overs with Shami and Bhuvneshwar taking the wickets.
Shami struck in his first over to dismiss Latham for LBW, while Guptill continued with his woeful run to be bowled by Kumar when the ball hit his elbow before crashing on to the stumps.
Earlier, Wriddhiman Saha spiced up India’s late order batting with a gritty unbeaten half-century and shared a quick last wicket partnership of 35 from 31 balls with Shami.
Earlier attacked by a barrage of short-pitch deliveries, Saha stood determined as he built his innings from being 14 not out last night to remain 54 not out, only the third half-century of his career as India made impressive progress from the overnight score of 239 for seven in 86 overs.
For Saha, who has had one century and two fifties before today, this was his first half-century in India and came at a crucial period when India looked in danger of being wrapped under 250 after yesterday’s poor show in the first hour