Tom Latham and William Somerville combined in a 76-run partnership as New Zealand reached 79-1 at lunch on the final day of the first Test against India, needing a further 205 runs to win or to survive two sessions for a draw.
Set a target of 284, the second-wicket pair batted through Monday’s first sessions and frustrated India’s attack. At the interval, Somerville was unbeaten on 36 and Latham was 35 not out.
Opener Latham continued his form from the first innings, when he scored 95 in New Zealand’s total of 296.
Somerville’s form and technique against spin was the greater surprise. He faced 109 deliveries and hit five fours.
India’s attack was hampered after Ishant Sharma injured his hand while fielding early in the session. He bowled only four overs and had figures of 0-13.
India relied heavily on spin, as expected. Ravichandran Ashwin (1-19), Axar Patel (0-6) and Ravindra Jadeja (0-11) sent down 21 overs of spin without any reward.
Frustrations grew as India wasted a DRS review against Latham in the 19th over. Replays proved there was no edge and the opener survived.
Ashwin had trapped Will Young (2) lbw before stumps on day four.