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India 379, NZ 64-2 At Lunch Day 2, 3rd Test

By on April 4, 2009

Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan took quick wickets to reduce New Zealand to 64 for two at lunch on the second day of the third cricket test Saturday as the hosts replied to India’s first innings of 379.

Zaheer bowled Martin Guptill for 17, then had Daniel Flynn caught by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for 2 as New Zealand slumped to 31 for two before recovering slightly by lunch.

Opener Tim McIntosh was 24 not out and Ross Taylor was 17 not out at the interval.

Earlier, New Zealand needed 13 balls to capture the last Indian wicket after the tourists resumed their first innings at 375 for nine.

Tailenders Ishant Sharma and Munaf Patel added four runs to that total, increasing their 10th-wicket partnership to 32, before Sharma was caught by Brendon McCullum off Chris Martin in the third over of the day.
The dismissal gave McCullum his fourth catch and Martin his fourth wicket of the innings, leaving the tall right-armer with figures of four for 98 from 25.1 overs.

Sharma finished with 18 and Patel was 15 not out. Sachin Tendulkar remained the top scorer for India with 62, his 53rd test 50, while Harbhajan Singh made 62, Dhoni 52 and Virender Sehwag 48.

Zaheer put New Zealand on the back foot when he dismissed Guptill in the seventh over, his fourth of the innings, bowling with a steady northerly wind at his back. Guptill played a hesitant back foot defensive stroke to a shorter delivery from Zaheer and deflected the ball from an inside edge onto his stumps.

Zaheer struck again in his sixth over, luring Flynn into a shot outside off stump and finding an edge which carried to Indian captain Dhoni behind the stumps. New Zealand was 21 for one when Guptill fell and 31 for two in the 11th over when Flynn was out.

McIntosh had moments of difficulty early in his innings but was playing with more confidence by lunch. Taylor, who made 151 in New Zealand’s only innings in the drawn second test at Napier, had hit three crisp boundaries in his 17 by the break.

India leads the three-test series 1-0 after winning the first test at Hamilton by 10 wickets. It is bidding to become the first Indian team to win a test series in New Zealand since 1968.

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