India progressed to their first Women's T20 World Cup decider after rain ruined the semi-final as England were sent home without taking to the field.

Thursday's first semi-final was abandoned due to rain in Sydney, with India automatically qualifying for Sunday's showpiece in Melbourne as Group A winners.

Play was meant to start at 15:00 local time at the SCG before persistent rain forced the final-four clash to be called off at 16:08.

India – three-time semi-finalists – will face either South Africa or hosts Australia in the T20 final.

Thursday's second semi-final is also in doubt amid the wet weather, with Group B winners Proteas set to advance should it be washed out.

Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen have been recalled to South Africa's ODI squad for the series with India, for which George Linde has received his maiden limited-overs call-up.

Du Plessis and Van der Dussen were both involved in the T20 series with Australia but were rested for the ongoing ODI series, which South Africa lead 1-0.

However, they will feature in a three-match series in India, which starts in Dharamsala on March 12.

Also included is left-arm spinner Linde, whose only previous international appearance came in the third Test against India last year in Ranchi, where South Africa lost by an innings and 202 runs.

Linde took 4-133 in that heavy defeat, and has 86 wickets in his list A career at an average of 28.95.

Kyle Verreynne, whose 48 off 64 balls helped the Proteas beat Australia in the first ODI, keeps his place in the squad. Tabraiz Shamsi is unavailable for selection as he and his wife are expecting the birth of their first child.

"It is exciting to see the amount of competition for spots that we have within the team and in the franchises, it's a good headache for us as selectors to have," Linda Zondi, CSA's independent selector, said. 

"We are satisfied with our picks for what will certainly be a challenging tour of India. We saw some promising performances last year from the T20 squad that travelled there and we wanted to give a player like George Linde another crack at the conditions which seemed to really suit him. 

"We are also particularly pleased with the balance of youth and experience that we have achieved while our young leadership group continues to establish itself. We are looking forward to some good performances in this relatively short tour."

 


South Africa squad: Quinton de Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis, Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lutho Sipamla, Jon-Jon Smuts, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne.  

Virat Kohli lamented India's batting after their Test series loss to New Zealand, while paying tribute to the Black Caps.

New Zealand wrapped up a 2-0 series win over India on Monday thanks to a seven-wicket victory in Christchurch.

India struggled with the bat throughout the series, posting scores of 165 and 191 in the first Test in Wellington and 242 and 124 at Hagley Oval.

Kohli praised New Zealand's bowlers and rued his side's batting after their series defeat.

"It was a matter of not having enough intent in the first game and then playing well in the first innings here but then again the small things, small margins," the India captain told Sky Sport.

"When you sit down and look back at this series you have to also give credit to the New Zealand bowlers because they bowled in the right areas for long enough, created a lot of pressure. There were hardly any scoring opportunities so that meant you had to play extravagant shots to get runs rather than just rotating strike and getting runs easily.

"It was a combination of us not quite having the right kind of execution and New Zealand playing really well in their conditions and I think the bowling and the consistency was outstanding and that's something that forced our batting to make those mistakes.

"We're usually a batting side that does show a bit of fight and put up scores on the board, but there was just not enough done by the batsmen in the series for the bowlers to try and attack."

After ripping through the India lower-order to begin day three in Christchurch, New Zealand were untroubled on the way to their target of 132 for victory.

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was happy with his team and said their ability to combine for small but vital partnerships was crucial.

"Outstanding," he said. "Both fairly sporting surfaces where bowlers had to put the ball in the right area, but if you did you created opportunities throughout every day of this game which was surprising. History suggests that it does a bit initially and then flattens out.

"I guess therein lies the value in a lot of those partnerships that we had with the bat, those 30s and 40s that were huge out there on that surface.

"I don't think the end result reflected how perhaps tight that match was because as we saw in both innings the ball going past the outside of the bat and it is such a fine line, but a fantastic series from our side in terms of the balance with the bat and the ball and the way the guys stuck at it.

"As we know, it is a fine line and India are a world-class side, top of the comp [ICC World Test Championship], so a great effort from the guys."

New Zealand wrapped up a 2-0 series victory over India with a seven-wicket win in the second Test in Christchurch on Monday.

India set the Black Caps just 132 to win on day three and the hosts had no troubles reaching their target at Hagley Oval.

After 16 wickets incredibly fell on Sunday, India needed a response to begin day three, but they added just 34 runs after resuming at 90-6.

Tom Latham (52) and Tom Blundell (55) ensured New Zealand cruised through their chase to win the series 2-0.

Hanuma Vihari (9) was the first to go on Monday, caught down the leg side by BJ Watling off Tim Southee (3-36).

India were unable to get anything going, although Ravindra Jadeja did manage an unbeaten 16 off just 22 balls.

Trent Boult (4-28) added the wicket of Rishabh Pant (4) and Southee also removed Mohammed Shami (5) before Jasprit Bumrah (4) was run out.

While India's bowlers caused some initial problems to Latham and Blundell, the openers set up what proved a comfortable chase for the Black Caps.

Latham fell to Umesh Yadav (1-45) and Kane Williamson (5) went off Bumrah, who bowled Blundell to finish with 2-39 before Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls helped New Zealand see out their victory.

South Africa claimed victory in the first ODI with Australia after producing a disciplined bowling display to back up Heinrich Klaasen's eye-catching century at Boland Park on Saturday.

In the first meeting of a three-match series, it was the Proteas who impressed to triumph by 74 runs, Klaasen's unbeaten 123 proving key, while Lungi Ngidi (3-30) was clinical with the ball.

The victory came despite a sluggish start from the hosts, who were reduced to 48-3, with newcomer Janneman Malan among the victims as he was out for a golden duck.

But another debutant shone far more brightly, Kyle Verreynne's handy contribution of 48 – along with David Miller's 64 and Klaasen's heroics – helping South Africa to 291-7.

Even in the absence of influential paceman Kagiso Rabada, out with a groin strain suffered in the T20 series, the home side applied pressure with the ball to limit Australia's response and seal victory in the 46th over.

Malan fell first ball to Mitchell Starc, given out lbw on review, and captain Quinton de Kock was out tamely for 15 when he nicked one into the gloves of Alex Carey off Josh Hazlewood.

Temba Bavuma dragged on from Pat Cummins to leave South Africa in real trouble before Verreynne and Klaasen's 78-run stand stirred a revival.

Klaasen, who racked up a maiden international hundred, combined just as effectively with Miller after Verreynne was caught at square leg by Marsh, the newly minted partnership adding a decisive 149 runs.

With a sizeable target to chase, the tourists struggled to get going, although Steve Smith's 76 did raise hopes of making it a competitive contest after openers David Warner (25) and Aaron Finch (10) had been dismissed by Ngidi.

When Smith was trapped lbw by Anrich Nortje in the 35th over, Australia were running out of overs and wickets, requiring 118 runs from 96 balls.

Carey's five from 16 deliveries was decidedly unhelpful, but he was not the only one to come up short on a day when Australia simply failed to fire, finishing 217 all out.

Kyle Jamieson savoured claiming a maiden five-wicket Test haul with his family watching on as New Zealand put India on the back foot at Hagley Oval.

Jamieson kept his place after an impressive debut in the longest format as the Black Caps hammered India to go 1-0 up in the two-match series.

The seamer again justified his selection on day one in Christchurch, taking 5-45 to dismiss the tourists for 242 before New Zealand closed on 63-0 in reply.

India crumbled from 194-4, Jamieson removing Cheteshwar Pujara (55) and ripping through the lower order before Trent Boult cleaned up Mohammed Shami to end the innings.

Former Canterbury man Jamieson reflected on a job well done at a ground that holds a special place in his heart.

He said: "They're [Jamieson's family, who he waved to with the ball] so much a part of this journey – to have them here and to witness this moment was pretty special.

"I was certainly very comfortable coming back out here, the run-ups and the pitch felt pretty normal. It was massive part of my career, and nice to come back home.

"At one stage I thought they were going to get a few more, it wasn't quite doing as much as what it did in Wellington, so to keep them to 242 is pretty good."

Prithvi Shaw (54) and Hanuma Vihari (55) also made half-centuries before India collapsed, with Tom Latham (27 not out) and Tom Blundell (29no) ensuring it was very much New Zealand's day.

Kyle Jamieson's maiden Test five-for triggered an India collapse as New Zealand made a strong start to the second and final Test on Saturday.

Jamieson tore through India, who went from 194-5 to 242 all out in a remarkable tea session on day one in Christchurch, with figures of 5-45 in 14 overs.

New Zealand reached stumps at 63-0, trailing by 179 runs, thanks to openers Tom Lathan (27 not out) and Tom Blundell (29 not out) at Hagley Oval.

Rain delayed the start of play in New Zealand, where ICC's top-ranked Test side India were looking to bounce back from their crushing defeat against the Black Caps in Wellington.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl first, and it proved a wise decision when Trent Boult (2-89) trapped Mayank Agarwal lbw for seven after India made it through six overs unscathed.

The Black Caps' bowling attack did not have it all their own way – highly rated opener Prithvi Shaw showing intent early on as he kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Shaw scored 54 runs from just 64 deliveries before he fell victim to Jamieson – who claimed 4-39 in the first innings of the opening Test against India on his debut – prior to lunch, Latham's stunning catch at second slip ending a promising knock.

Tim Southee (2-38) then took the prized scalp of struggling India skipper Virat Kohli (3) shortly after lunch as the tourists fell to 85-3.

Only two other wickets fell in the middle session – Ajinkya Rahane (7) and Hanuma Vihari (55) via Southee and Neil Wagner (1-29) – as India looked relatively comfortable heading into the tea break.

But it all fell apart for India in the final session as Jamieson cleaned up the visitors with four wickets in a stunning spell, which saw Kohli's side crumble for 48-5.

Cheteshwar Pujara (54), Rishabh Pant (12), Umesh Yadav (0) and Ravindra Jadeja (9) were dismissed by Jamieson, while Boult ripped out Mohammed Shami's off stump.

Latham and Blundell then saw New Zealand through to the end of play without loss amid fading light after 23 overs.

Kagiso Rabada will miss not only South Africa's one-dayers against Australia on home soil but also the upcoming tour to India due to a groin strain.

Paceman Rabada suffered the injury during the Twenty20 series with Australia, which concluded on Wednesday at Newlands in Cape Town, and underwent an MRI scan to assess the extent of the problem.

The 24-year-old will be sidelined for a month, according to a statement released by Cricket South Africa (CSA) on the eve of the first ODI in Paarl.

After hosting Australia, the Proteas travel to India for three 50-over fixtures, starting in Dharamsala on March 12.

"The significant injury means that he will take approximately four weeks to heal, which effectively rules him out of both the Australia and India ODI series," said Dr Shuaib Manjra, CSA's chief medical officer.

"The CSA medical staff will ensure his effective and expeditious recovery."

Rabada was rested for the limited-overs games against England earlier this year but returned to face Australia, picking up two wickets in his three appearances as the tourists won the T20 series by a 2-1 scoreline.

Shikha Pandey held her nerve at the last to help India become the first team into the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 semi-finals with a tense three-run victory over New Zealand.

Having held India at 133 for eight, the White Ferns would have fancied their chances in Melbourne having not failed to chase a sub-140 T20I target since October 2013.

But they were thwarted with the bat, their star-studded top-order of Sophie Devine, Rachel Priest and Suzie Bates all falling within nine overs, as Amelia’s Kerr’s stunning late cameo proved not enough to prevent defeat.

The tense Junction Oval win means India are guaranteed a spot in the last four, with the battle for the final qualifying spot in Group A heating up.

Another impressive outing from Shafali Verma (46) set India on their way but a fine spell of bowling from New Zealand’s own teenage talent Kerr stopped her from dominating, the 19-year-old leg-spinner taking the innings-changing wicket to finish with figures of two for 21.

Smriti Mandhana, who missed the win over Bangladesh due to viral fever, saw her comeback cut short as she was dismissed for 11 by Lea Tahuhu in the third over, the opener chopping onto her stumps.

But once again Verma stepped up, the 16-year-old smashing back-to-back sixes to steer India to 49 for one in the Powerplay.

Tanya Bhatia, in at three, soon followed Verma’s lead, taking India beyond 60 but she perished for 23 when Kerr caught her at point off Rosemary Mair. The same duo combined again to dismiss Jemimah Rodrigues for ten.

Verma was twice given a lifeline as chances were squandered in the field, Maddy Green dropping an opportunity at long on before Tahuhu spilled at mid-wicket.

Harmanpreet Kaur’s disappointing form continued as the India captain was caught and bowled by Leigh Kasperek for one - her third single-figure score in the tournament.

Hayley Jensen made amends for her side’s earlier errors by catching Verma at cover off Kerr for 46, before the spinner trapped Veda Krishnamurthy lbw for six.

Chasing 134, Priest’s time in the middle was short-lived as her aerial option backfired, Radha Yadav holding on at mid-wicket off Pandey to remove the opener for 12.

And the White Ferns’ start to the innings went from bad to worse when the Bates-Devine partnership fell after four overs, the former handing Deepti Sharma her 50th T20I wicket.

Before long Poonam Yadav struck with her spin, dismissing Devine after the skipper mistimed her full toss to point.

The fourth-wicket pair of Green (24) and Katey Martin (25) cautiously plodded on, putting on a 43-run partnership before the former was caught behind by Bhatia off Rajeshwari Gayakwad.

Two overs later and Martin was gone, Rodrigues with the catch on the mid-wicket boundary off Radha Yadav.

That looked to be game done and dusted but Kerr (34) defied Poonam’s heroics to set up a nerve-wracking finale, striking 18 in the penultimate over.

But she couldn’t muster a final-ball six as the White Ferns agonisingly missed out, suffering their first defeat of this Women’s T20 World Cup.

 

Scores in brief

 

India beat New Zealand by three runs, Junction Oval, Melbourne

 

India 133-8, 20 overs (Shafali Verma 46; Amelia Kerr 2-21, Rosemary Mair 2-27)

New Zealand 130-6, 20 overs (Amelia Kerr 34 not out, Katey Martin 25; Shikha Pandey 1-21)

India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane says a late decision will be made over whether Ravichandran Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja will play in the second Test against New Zealand.

Ashwin took 3-99, but twice failed with the bat as the tourists were hammered by 10 wickets in the opening match of the series at Basin Reserve. 

Jadeja was overlooked for India's first ICC World Test Championship defeat and is pushing for a recall for a second match that begins at Hagley Oval on Friday.

Rahane gave nothing away when asked which spinner will get the nod as India attempt to tie the series in Christchurch.

"We have not taken any such decisions," the batsman said. "Ashwin had bowled really well in Wellington and he is a quality bowler; Jadeja is also a quality bowler.

"Yes, it gets a bit tough when we travel as to play whom – Jaddu [Jadeja] or Ashwin.

"But I think it is a good sign for the team when we travel outside India because both are quality spinners.

"The decision will depend on the condition of the wicket and we have to see the thought process of captain and coach and what combination they have in mind for the team. But no decision on them yet."

Virat Kohli's side were bowled out for less than 200 in both innings in Wellington, but Rahane feels they may find conditions more favourable in the second Test.

"In New Zealand as a batting unit and as a bowling unit, we've got to adapt to the conditions here," said Rahane. "Pitching areas are completely different here than in India or South Africa or Australia.

"The India A guys played here and Hanuma [Vihari] was telling us this wicket plays much better. There's good pace and bounce on this wicket... we'll have to wait and see. Assess the conditions very quickly on the first day of the game and play accordingly."

Shafali Verma’s early sixes and Poonam Yadav’s latest starring role helped India secure an 18-run ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 victory over Bangladesh in Perth.

Verma smashed a 17-ball 39, including four sixes, in the Powerplay to steer India to the highest total of the competition so far with 142 for six.

Two wickets apiece for Salma Khatun and Panna Ghosh were not enough to halt momentum, nor 35 runs from top-scorer Nigar Sultana Joty as Bangladesh fell short of an upset at the WACA.

Yadav, the hero in India’s opening-night victory with four wickets against Australia, once again impressed to take her total to the tournament to seven after just two matches.

India lost Tanya Bhatia early but 16-year-old Verma once again showed her star potential by hitting two fours and four sixes in her first 15 balls to steer her country to the highest Powerplay score of the tournament so far at 54 for two.

Verma’s stint was however short-lived, Shamima Sultana juggling a catch off captain Khatun to halt the teenager’s impressive knock at 39.

Bangladesh’s third wicket was a big one as captain Harmanpreet Kaur was dismissed for eight, Rumana Ahmed with the catch at backward point for Panna’s second scalp.

Jemimah Rodrigues posted a steadying 34 off 37 before being run out by Nahida Akter as Bangladesh slowed the rate.

Deepti Sharma and Richa Ghosh put on 19 for the fifth wicket before the latter was caught at the boundary by Nahida for 14 as captain Salma doubled her tally.

Sharma was the next to depart, run-out after a mix-up in the middle with Veda Krishnamurthy (20), who swept four boundaries in her late cameo to take India to an impressive 142 in the absence of Smriti Mandhana.

In contrast, Bangladesh’s start was slow and Shamima was the first to perish when caught at extra cover off Shikha Pandey.

Murshida Khatun’s 30 off 26 got the wheels in motion but the opener was dismissed in the seventh by Arundathi Reddy, Richa Ghosh with the catch at extra cover.

Sanjida Islam (10) and Nigar Sultana (35) put on a 17-run third wicket stand until the former was caught behind by Bhatia off Yadav, before Reddy got her second wicket as Fargana Hoque fell for a duck.

Five boundaries from Nigar Sultana upped the total but she lost her partner Fahima Khatun for 17 in the 15th over as opening-night hero Yadav took her second scalp.

The wickets kept on falling at the WACA, Nigar Sultana was the next victim as Reddy caught her off Rajeshwari Gayakwad before Jahanara Alam was dismissed for ten.

Shikha Pandey took her second wicket by bowling Ahmed in the final over, but Yadav finished the evening with the best bowling figures of three for 18 as India made it two from two in Group A.

 

Scores in brief

 

India beat Bangladesh by 18 runs, WACA Ground, Perth

India 142-6, 20 overs (Shafali Verma 39, Jemimah Rodrigues 34; Salma Khatun 2-25, Panna Ghosh 2-25)

Bangladesh 124-8, 20 overs (Nigar Sultana Joty 35, Poonam Yadav 3-18, Shikha Pandey)

Virat Kohli lamented India's uncompetitiveness with the bat in the first innings of their comprehensive Test loss to New Zealand.

The Black Caps secured their 100th Test victory on Monday, beating India by 10 wickets in Wellington in the series opener.

India were bowled out for 165 in the first innings and 191 in the second and Kohli rued their initial effort at the Basin Reserve.

"It was probably the toss that turned out to be very important, but at the same time as a batting unit I think we take a lot of pride in being competitive and we were just not competitive enough," India captain Kohli told Sky Sport.

"I don't think we put their bowlers under enough pressure in the first innings. Anything over 220-230 then you're talking a different language and even the deficit looks much lesser if you get that score on the board and you get the last three batsmen out cheaper, which wasn't the case.

"But I think that first innings really put us behind in the game already and then that lead obviously put us under a lot of pressure which was hard to come back from."

India had New Zealand at 225-7 in their first innings, only for Kyle Jamieson (44), Colin de Grandhomme (43) and Trent Boult (38) to push the hosts to 348.

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson was delighted with the victory, with Tim Southee grabbing a five-for in the second innings.

"It was an outstanding effort over the space of four days and we know how strong this Indian team is all around the world," he said.

"The efforts that went into that first innings to put the ball in the right area for long periods of time and I think that with the bat to get what was a very competitive total on a surface that I thought was a really good one that offered throughout the whole match, and the lower-order runs are really important to try and get a little bit of a lead.

"As we saw that if you did pick up a wicket you could get a couple so an outstanding all-round team effort."

The second and final Test starts in Christchurch on Saturday.

Tim Southee claimed a five-for to lead New Zealand to a 10-wicket humbling of India in the first Test on Monday.

Southee grabbed his 10th five-wicket Test haul – only two men have earned more for the Black Caps – as New Zealand wrapped up the opening Test inside four days against the ICC's top-ranked team.

Led by paceman Southee, New Zealand skittled touring India for just 191 early on day four and Tom Latham (7) and Tom Blundell (2) easily hit the winning nine runs.

It was a milestone win for New Zealand after the Black Caps registered their 100th Test victory, becoming the seventh nation to reach the century mark in the longest format of the game, while ending a three-match losing run in the unlimited-overs game.

India, who managed just 165 in the first innings as New Zealand posted 348, returned to the crease at 144-4 – still 39 runs adrift.

In a commanding position, the Black Caps put India to the sword after Virat Kohli's visitors lost 47-6 during the morning session.

New Zealand quick Trent Boult (4-39) set the tone with the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane for 29, before Southee took centre stage at the Basin Reserve.

India were helpless to stop Southee, who knocked over Hanuma Vihari's stumps for 15 the following over and Ravichandran Ashwin (4) was the next to go after being trapped lbw.

Ishant Sharma (12) was also dismissed lbw by Colin de Grandhomme (1-28) before Southee cleaned up Rishabh Pant (25) and Jasprit Bumrah (0) within four deliveries.

It left New Zealand chasing just nine runs and the home team cruised to a massive victory, snapping India's seven-match winning streak in Tests.

Tim Southee pointed to Rishabh Pant's run out as the moment New Zealand took control of the first Test against India at Basin Reserve.

Pant signalled his intent with a six in the first over of the second day, but a dreadful mix-up with Ajinkya Rahane left him high and dry, albeit a superb direct hit from Ajax Patel played its part.

India lost five wickets for just 43 runs to crumble to 165 all out before lunch, and Kane Williamson's 89 was influential in New Zealand posting 216-5 at the close of day two for a lead of 51.

"I think the run out of Pant was a big play this morning," said Southee, who was bowling at the time and finished with 4-49.

"With him being such a dangerous player, especially leading into the second new ball, he could score really quickly along with Jinks [Rahane].

"We knew that once we could open up an end and face the bowlers, Jinks would look to play a bit more aggressively and that brings you into a play a bit more.

"I think the way we bowled this morning was pretty good."

Williamson fell short of what would have been a welcome century after a difficult time in the 3-0 series defeat to Australia.

But the captain's stand of 93 with Ross Taylor (44) – playing his 100th Test – put the Black Caps in a promising position that Southee hopes the hosts can build on.

"You always want your best players to be at the crease. They [Williamson and Taylor] put on a great partnership, both looking nice for a long period of time," he added. 

"If we can carry on and keep chipping away with the guys to come then it will set us up."

India fought back late in the day with three wickets in the final session and Ishant Sharma's (3-31) performance was particularly important.

Sharma arrived late in New Zealand due to his recovery from a torn ankle ligament and he has been coping with jet lag.

Southee paid tribute to the right-arm quick, saying: "He's been a word class bowler for a long time.

"When you're slightly underdone in terms of preparation and having an injury coming into the series, you can call on previous experience.

"He has played 90-odd Test matches and he knows what he needs to do to get himself right for a Test match, and when the preparation isn't ideal, he is able to find ways to perform like he has."

Kane Williamson fell short of a century as New Zealand earned a 51-run lead but India struck back with late wickets on day two of the opening Test.

New Zealand captain Williamson scored 89 runs to help the Black Caps to 216-5 against touring India at stumps in Wellington on Saturday.

But India claimed three wickets during the final session – including the scalp of Williamson – to regain some ground before bad light stopped play after New Zealand threatened to surge clear.

The opening day at Basin Reserve was ended by rain on Friday, with India reduced to 122-5 through just 55 overs due to wet weather.

New Zealand debutant Kyle Jamieson (4-39) starred on day one and he was among the wickets again as India were bowled out for 165 before lunch on Saturday – Virat Kohli's visitors losing 43-5.

Rishabh Pant (19) and Ajinkya Rahane (46) returned to the crease attempting to revive India's flagging innings but an awful mix-up and a stunning piece of fielding from Ajax Patel sparked the Black Caps.

Pant was left high and dry following Patel's direct hit and the wickets kept tumbling for India as New Zealand paceman Tim Southee took centre stage with figures of 4-49.

Southee dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin (0) first ball and then secured the prized wicket of Rahane before sending Mohammed Shami back to the pavilion for 21, while Jamieson had Ishant Sharma (5) caught behind.

The Black Caps navigated a tricky period prior to lunch with the bat, but opener Tom Latham (11) soon fell victim to Sharma (3-31) and the latter then skittled Tom Blundell (30) to leave New Zealand 73-2.

Williamson and Ross Taylor, however, combined for a valuable 93-run partnership to lead the hosts to 166-3 before Sharma removed Taylor just six runs shy of a half-century.

Black Caps skipper Williamson, who posted his 32nd Test fifty, was 11 runs short of another ton after slicing a Shami (1-61) delivery to substitute fielder Ravindra Jadeja.

One more wicket fell as stumps approached, Henry Nicholls sent packing by Ashwin (1-60) as BJ Watling (14 not out) and Colin de Grandhomme (4 not out) ended the day unbeaten in the middle.

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