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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

New Zealand end day three still in the lead and in charge in Wellington

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Boult wrecks India's top order on day three (1:17)

Trent Boult bags Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli to suppress India's response on Day 3. Watch India-New Zealand on ESPN+. (1:17)

India 165 and 144 for 4 (Agarwal 58, Boult 3-27) trail New Zealand 348 (Williamson 89, Taylor 44, Jamieson 44, Sharma 5-68, Ashwin 3-99) by 39 runs

New Zealand wrested back control of the Basin Reserve Test by adding 123 for their last three wickets and then prising out four wickets with excellent plans and execution on a dying surface. Missing Neil Wagner's tireless short-pitched bowling (he's away on paternity leave), the others - Trent Boult in particular - found a way to create an acceptable impression. They still have work to do to avoid being set a disconcerting target, but they would believe they have done a large chunk of that work on the third day, ending it still 39 ahead.

After his four-wicket haul with the ball, Jamieson ended up with the highest score for a debuting No. 9 for New Zealand: 44, off just 45 balls. If Jamieson left some exposed wounds, a dancing comedy act of a 24-ball 38, complete with sound effects, from Trent Boult, sprinkled salt on them. However, it was de Grandhomme's solid batting that was critical to their 183-run first-innings lead after having started the day 51 ahead.

If there is any country where you can come back from such a deficit, it is New Zealand even though this pitch had more life than your regular New Zealand surface. That much was evident from the first ball of the day, which reared off just short of a length to take the shoulder of BJ Watling's bat for Jasprit Bumrah's first wicket in his last 294 legal deliveries in international cricket. When Tim Southee soon chipped a filthy half-volley down the leg side straight to fine leg, India were only 60 behind and optimistic.

It helped that the old ball was still seaming around a touch, and the new ball was just around the corner. With three overs to go to the new ball, de Grandhomme transferred the pressure back with a lofted off-drive off Ishant Sharma. Immediately Jamieson announced himself with a disdainfully pulled six off Mohammed Shami, who has looked off colour all match. Having seen Bumrah find some of his touch, India went to him with the new ball, but he bowled too straight and too full in the first over to concede two boundaries. Just like that, the lead was above 90 and India couldn't have afforded to go all out on the attack with the new ball.

Jamieson displayed excellent balance at the wicket, and an organised technique to play both off the front and back foot. With Shami still struggling to find consistent lengths, New Zealand raced away against the new ball. Shami conceded 25 in his five overs, three of those with the new ball.

With the wind direction switching, R Ashwin had to bowl from his less preferred end, and Jamieson celebrated that with two slogged sixes. Ashwin's experience eventually prevailed with his around-the-wicket angle bringing a sliced shot, followed by de Grandhomme's wicket caught down the leg side, but the damage had already been done. And, also, Boult wasn't done.

Boult hardly played a ball standing still. He backed away, he shuffled across, but he middled almost every hit, flat-batting a short ball through mid-off, crunching a drive, lofting Ashwin, steering, pulling, nudging. After almost every ball he made a sound, depending on how well he had played it or if the bowler had managed to surprise him. In the 38-run last-wicket stand, Ajaz Patel scored no run. Eventually Sharma switched to around the wicket to get Boult with a bouncer to end up with a five-for in a match doctors initially didn't give him a chance to play.

Now began the back-breaking work for New Zealand. Boult had to himself go around the wicket to expose Prithvi Shaw on the short ball. Shaw fell soon enough, but it was apparent taking wickets would be hard work despite the torrid time they put Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara through. Jamieson and Boult bounced them, de Grandhomme and Southee bowled with catching covers and midwickets. Four maidens were strung together. Jamieson nearly got Pujara with a bouncer only to be denied by lack of conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field not-out call for a catch off the glove.

As the two settled down, it was clear all New Zealand could do was bowl to their plans and then wait for mistakes. They stuck to it. Pujara kept trusting his defence, Agarwal shelved the pull, which had got him out in the first innings. The scoring rate stalled. Only towards the end of the spells of de Grandhomme and Jamieson did Agarwal resume pulling. The introduction of Ajaz Patel broke the shackles for Agarwal, who fought his way to a fifty.

With eyes on a break, though, Pujara made a mental error, leaving the last ball of the middle session alone. It was bowled from around the wicket by Boult, and didn't do anything alarming. Pujara had misjudged either the length or the line of it. He also omitted to cover the angle with his pad, which at least would have made the umpire make a decision. Here the disturbed off stump made the call.

Post tea, Southee put his hand up for the big effort. He went around the wicket, and kept bouncing Agarwal and Virat Kohli. Just like Wagner, he slipped in the sucker ball, which Agarwal nicked down the leg side. He asked for it to be reviewed with one second to go on the DRS clock, contending the bat had hit the ground, but Snicko showed a spike just as the ball passed the bat.

Boult came back to get the big scalp of Kohli, who played an innings in which it didn't appear he was as switched on he usually is. Regular uppish drives, an edged boundary through slips, and then eventually the top edge on the hook all went against what the team needed at that hour.

Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari then frustrated New Zealand with an unbroken partnership of 19.4 overs, which showed it was possible for batsmen to dig in.The new ball was 15 overs away at stumps.