Scott Kuggeleijn nipped out Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill as India were left tottering on a green deck in a three-day game in Hamilton.
Shaw and Gill were removed for ducks while Agarwal scored one run only as tennis ball bounce did the better of the trio. Ajinkya Rahane (18) didn’t show much resistance as well – he was dismissed off Neesham’s bowling.
Cheteshwar Pujara, batting at No 3, offered dogged resistance with a 211-ball 93, including eleven boundaries and one maximum. He scored his runs in his classical style – leaving balls outside off-stump, letting the bowlers to come at his pads and working them away to the on-side.
As soon as Ish Sodhi came into the attack, Pujara took his leg-spin on, preferring to hammer anything short. Sodhi went for almost five runs per over, but he picked up three wickets towards the end of the innings to wrap up the innings.
Pujara, was ably supported by Hanuma Vihari, scoring 101 off 182 balls to take India to a fighting total. He looked stoic in his defence, playing close to the body and pouncing in on anything loose.
Vihari looked assure against both pace and spin. His liking for spin was displayed by the fact that he hammered three straight sixes off the left-arm spin of Rachin Ravindra. Ravindra went for 30 runs in his five overs, before he was removed from the attack.
Following Pujara’s dismissal, there wasn’t a lot of fightback from the visitors. Vihari, unbeaten on 102, decided to retire out but the lower order fell to soft dismissals.
Rishabh Pant scored 7 while Saha and Ashwin registered ducks as India ended up with 263 on first day. Kuggeleijn and Sodhi got three wickets each whereas Gibson got two and Neesham bagged one scalp.