Zaheer, Harbhajan lead India’s charge

Harbhajan Singh took three wickets in quick succession

Harbhajan Singh took three wickets in quick succession

New Zealand 350 (Ryder 70, Zaheer 4-69, Harbhajan 4-76) v India
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details
How they were out
Zaheer Khan led the charge with the second new ball, and Harbhajan Singh followed up with important wickets to give India the upper hand. New Zealand lost their last seven wickets for 97, with their innings ending shortly after lunch. Jesse Ryder, struggling with the calf strain he carried from the first Test, added important runs through his positive batting, but a shrewd Zaheer caused enough damage from the other end to make it India’s day so far.

Ryder added 48 runs off 56 balls to his overnight 22, but India did well to dry up the runs elsewhere: the rest could manage only 25 while he was there. Struggling physically, Ryder couldn’t quite take charge with the lower order, and on occasion turned down sharp singles. With about 15 minutes to go to lunch, he got a beauty from Harbhajan, angling in from round the stumps, and turning away from middle and leg. The edge was lapped up by VVS Laxman at first slip, and New Zealand were reduced to 331 for 8 on a fairly good batting surface.

It was Zaheer, who kept India in with two timely strikes on the first day, that began India’s dominance today. Bowling with the second new ball, he used the swing and the angles well, getting both his wickets lbw from round the wicket. He troubled New Zealand with swing from over the wicket, and then went round to deliver the finishing touches. Hopkins left alone the third ball he faced from the new angle, but it swung back, and would have hit the stumps but for the pad in the way. Williamson, though, had only himself to blame as he played across the line of a straight delivery.

Ryder kept playing his shots, using his wrists to send clips off the pads fine, and driving deliberately in front of square to beat the sweeper-cover. The major blow came when Daniel Vettori went sweeping against Harbhajan. Two balls after one inside edge saved him, he was ruled lbw, playing the same shot. Vettori seemed to claim he had hit it, but the replays were inconclusive. Only Hotspot – unavailable for this series – could have resolved this one, which provides some support to India’s push for not using the UDRS without the best possible technology.

Ryder added 19 with Tim Southee for the eighth wicket, but India set smart in-and-out fields for him. Ryder didn’t seem in the physical condition to take the sharp runs to farm the strike, and then got perhaps Harbhajan’s best delivery of the series. Harbhajan then got Southee stumped before lunch and five overs after the break, dismissed Chris Martin with a sharp offbreak, the first time India have picked up the famous walking wicket in Tests.

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About eshaan00
Fan of sports. Like to play football, cricket, badminton etc. I can,t talk nicely like others. But a good listener. Like to have true friend.

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