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Iyer has test century on debut, India 339-8 vs New Zealand

Shreyas Iyer celebrated his test debut with a century as India reached 339-8 at lunch Friday on the second day of the first cricket test against New Zealand.

Iyer scored 105 runs and held the Indian innings together. He became the 16th Indian batsman to score a hundred on test debut, facing 171 balls with 13 fours and two sixes.

New Zealand countered through Tim Southee (5-69), who picked up his 13th five-wicket haul in tests.

New Zealand's bowler Tim Southee, right, speaks to captain Kane Williamson during the day two of their first test cricket match with India in Kanpur, India, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (AP PhotoAltaf Qadri)

At the break, Ravichandran Ashwin was unbeaten on 38 runs while Umesh Yadav was 4 not out.

Starting from an overnight total of 258-4, India lost Ravindra Jadeja (50) in the third over of the day. He added 121 runs for the fifth wicket with Iyer.

Wriddhiman Saha (1) also went cheaply. Southee had struck twice in the space of six overs as fast bowlers continued to find movement with the new ball.

India's Ravichandaran Ashwin plays a shot during the day two of their first test cricket match with New Zealand in Kanpur, India, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (AP PhotoAltaf Qadri)

Iyer helped push the score past 300 and completed his hundred off 157 balls.

On day one, India had opted to bat first. Iyer and Jadeja’s century stand had saved them from a precarious 145-4.

New Zealand won the World Test Championship over India in Southampton, England by eight wickets in June, and this two-test series against India marks the start of its title defense.

New Zealand's bowler Tim Southee prepares to bowl during the day two of their first test cricket match with India in Kanpur, India, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (AP PhotoAltaf Qadri)

India hasn’t lost a home test against New Zealand since 1988.

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India's Umesh Yadav plays a shot off New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson's delivery during the day two of their first test cricket match in Kanpur, India, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (AP PhotoAltaf Qadri)

New Zealand's players await the third umpire decision after an appeal for the wicket of India's Ravindra Jadeja during the day two of their first test cricket match in Kanpur, India, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (AP PhotoAltaf Qadri)

New Zealand's Tom Blundell and Ross Taylor appeals unsuccessfully against India's Ravindra Jadeja during the day two of their first test cricket match in Kanpur, India, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (AP PhotoAltaf Qadri)