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Black Caps rewarded for restricting India

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/09/2016

New Zealand's Matt Henry, left, celebrates after taking the wicket of Indian batsman Ravichandran Ashwin, second left, on the first day of the second cricket test match, in Kolkata, India, Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. © AP Photo/Saurabh Das New Zealand's Matt Henry, left, celebrates after taking the wicket of Indian batsman Ravichandran Ashwin, second left, on the first day of the second cricket test match, in Kolkata, India, Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. Recalled New Zealand seamer Matt Henry says restricting India's run flow was the key to a promising first day of the second Test in Kolkata.

Henry ended a ninth-month absence from the Test side with a sharp display, taking 3-35 as the hosts were restricted to 239-7 at Eden Gardens.

In muggy conditions, the 24-year-old removed both openers cheaply and also claimed the last wicket of the day - Ravi Ashwin for 26 - with the second new ball.

It justified New Zealand's decision to take an extra seamer into the Test, with Henry effectively replacing legspinner Ish Sodhi from the side who lost by 197 runs in Kanpur.

Jeetan Patel, who replaced injured fellow offspinner Mark Craig, was the other bowler to claim multiple scalps.

The prolific county cricket wicket-taker took 2-66 in his first Test for three years.

Henry says they were able to maintain pressure on India through run restriction, with the hosts only looking settled during a 141-run stand for the fourth wicket between Cheteshwar Pujara (87) and Ajinkya Rahane (77).

Twenty-seven of their 86 overs were maidens.

New Zealand's Matt Henry (3rd R) is congratulated by his teammates after taking the wicket of India's Murali Vijay. © REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri New Zealand's Matt Henry (3rd R) is congratulated by his teammates after taking the wicket of India's Murali Vijay.

"We knew we had to control the run rate, because it's tough in these conditions to take wickets," Henry said.

"We needed to create pressure via dots, and that manifested into taking more wickets at the end of the day.

"They batted well and were composed through that middle period. It was really hot, which tested us mentally and physically."

Henry, a late call-up to the tour following an injury to Tim Southee, says the first hour on Saturday will be crucial, with the Test evenly poised.

A score over 300 could be daunting for a New Zealand team missing ill captain and standout batsman Kane Williamson.

Rahane praised the consistency of Patel in particular, noting there were few easy runs on offer.

"Credit goes to them, because it is hard for the bowlers here. It's not easy, it's hot and humid."

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