Saturday, March 28, 2009


Chris Martin scythed through the Indian middle order with the second new ball on Saturday as New Zealand secured a 314-run first innings lead and enforced the follow-on in the second Test.Martin dismissed Yuvraj Singh (0), Dinesh Karthik (6) and VVS Laxman for 76 as India were all out for 305 on Saturday replying to New Zealand's first innings of 619 for 9 declared.At stumps India were 47 for one in the second innings, still 267 runs behind with Virender Sehwag out for 22. Gautam Gambhir (14) and Rahul Dravid (11) were the not out batsmen.Jesse Ryder, whose innings of 201 inflated New Zealand's first-innings total, took catches from Martin and Iain O'Brien's bowling and claimed the vital wicket of Dravid for 83 in a three-over cameo to speed India towards dismissal.

O'Brien claimed the last two Indian wickets to fall — Harbhajan Singh for 18 and Zaheer Khan for 8 — with successive deliveries as the tourists lost their last six wickets for 59 runs in perfect batting conditions.India resumed on Saturday at 79 for three and slipped toward the follow on despite brief patches of resistance from Sachin Tendulkar (49), Dravid and Laxman (76).Of the seven wickets that fell, six went to catches behind the wicket and one to a catch on the fine leg fence as the Indian batsman showed a lack of discipline under the weight and pressure of New Zealand's total.The deterioration of the Indian innings was systematic. Tendulkar was out before lunch, one run short of his 52nd half-century in Tests, when he edged a delivery from off-spinner Jeetan Patel to Ross Taylor at first slip.

Dravid reached his 55th Test half-century in 144 minutes off 111 balls and attempted to stall the decline of the innings in a slow second session and in a critical partnership with Laxman.India added only 64 runs in 30 overs between lunch and tea but, importantly, lost the wickets of Dravid and Yuvraj Singh immediately before the interval to slip closer to capitulation.
Dravid was out for 83, caught by wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum off Ryder's first over as the burly New Zealand batsman continued to have an influence over the match.Singh fell without scoring in the last over before tea, leaving the tourists 253-6 and giving New Zealand control of every session of the match, except the first in which they slumped to 23 for three after winning the toss.New Zealand quickly wrapped up the Indian innings in the final session and with precise use of the second new ball. Martin dismissed Karthik, caught by Ryder at third slip, and Laxman, who provided the second catch at second slip for Tim McIntosh.

Patel, who already had the prized wicket of Tendulkar, dismissed Sehwag for 22 before stumps to imperil India's second innings. Sehwag played a rash shot, sweeping across the line, and was trapped lbw when India was 30.Gambhir and Dravid saw the tourists to stumps but India face a battle to save the match with two days remaining.New Zealand took charge of the match with a disciplined bowling performance in good batting conditions."I think the guys bowled really well, really consistently," Patel said. "Dan (Vettori) asked for consistent areas and I think we delivered."We grafted in the second session, bowled a lot of overs to a particular plan and that paid off in third session. If you stack up the overs, as we did, the wickets often come in last session. We stayed strong with our plans and knocked them off really quickly."India lead the three-match series 1-0 after winning the first Test at Hamilton by 10 wickets.

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