Second Test Match


Toss: India.

The match was ruined by rain. No play was possible on the first day because of a drenched outfield, and on the second, which started an hour late and finished early because of bad light, only 52 overs were bowled. When the fifth day was abandoned after rain spread under the covers, the game simply slipped into obscurity.

Raman fell to Hadlee without scoring, as he had in the First Test, but Prabhakar and Manjrekar added 92, at 30 runs an hour. On the third day Prabhakar, strong off his legs but hitting only four boundaries in his vigilant innings, carried through to 95, his best Test score. He was out to a doubtful decision. Azharuddin was shackled by the slow pace of the completely grassless pitch and took 90 minutes for his 33; Vengsarkar was out second ball. Tendulkar, however, made the match his own. He looked considerably older than his sixteen years as, with strong driving and deft placements, he reached 80 by the close, off 258 balls. With the perky More, he had added 128 for an Indian seventh-wicket record against New Zealand. More hit eleven fours, distinctly under par for the course, in his best Test score of 73. Tendulkar began the fourth day with the prospect of becoming the youngest Test century-maker. But after a four off Morrison and an all-run four from a superb drive in the next over, he went to the well of Morrison's bowling once too often and offered a straightforward catch to mid-off. When India declared soon afterwards, Morrison, all aggression on a heartless pitch, had again captured five wickets.

Wright and Franklin were studies in concentration in the early stages of their opening partnership, which produced 149 runs, a record for New Zealand against India. Although Franklin hit a lovely straight-driven six off Hirwani, the leg-spinner was in control, conceding only 21 runs from his first fifteen overs. It took New Zealand almost three hours to reach 100, but then Wright took charge. Off the next two Hirwani overs he scored 19, his three fours and a six a welcome light in the Napier gloom. Wright took 172 minutes and 130 balls to score his first 50, but he reached his century in another 75 minutes and 60 balls.

Man of the Match: J. G. Wright.

Close of play: First day, No play; Second day, India 126-2 (M. Prabhakar 54*, M. Azharuddin 19*); Third day, India 348-7 (S. R. Tendulkar 80*, S. L. V. Raju 2*); Fourth day, New Zealand 178-1 (J. G. Wright 113*, A. H. Jones 4*).

© John Wisden & Co