Hamilton: New Zealand bowler Daryl Tuffey ripped through India's batting line-up with a four-wicket haul to send the tourists reeling in the second and final Test on Friday.
The 24-year-old grabbed 4 for 12 in a superb display of seam bowling to leave India teetering at 92 for 8 on the second day at the Westpac Park. Parthiv Patel was batting on eight at stumps. Only 37.1 overs were possible after a delayed start due to wet outfield, but these were enough for New Zealand to put the tourists in deep trouble. The first day's play was abandoned without a ball being bowled. New Zealand had more than one wicket-taker to keep pressure on India as paceman Shane Bond added to the tourists' woes with 3 for 33 off 14 overs. New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming won an important toss and had no hesitation in putting India in to bat on a lively wicket. His decision paid rich dividends as Tuffey kept testing the batsmen from the first over. The Indian batting lacked spine against the tidy New Zealand bowling as none of the top-order batsmen could read Tuffey on a wicket that had bounce and helped seam movement. Venkatsai Laxman, who bagged a pair in the first Test, was the only specialist batsman to reach double-figures in a dismal Indian batting performance. He made 23 before playing a Bond delivery on to his stumps. Tail-ender Harbhajan Singh provided entertainment as he chanced his arm to crack five fours in his nine-ball 20 and helped India avoid its lowest total of 81 against New Zealand. He was bowled by Bond just a delivery after being caught off a no ball. The tourists crumbled in the first match at Wellington last week as they managed 161 and 121 to suffer a 10-wicket defeat and trail 1-0 in the two-match series. They fared no better in the second Test as they remained clueless against pace, especially that of Tuffey who kept probing the batsmen in his two short spells. India yet again made a disastrous start against the new ball as openers Sanjay Bangar and Virender Sehwag flopped for the third successive time. Bangar was surprised by bounce in Tuffey's opening over as he edged to gully where Jacob Oram dived forward to bring off a splendid catch. Sehwag, an attacking batsmen, was never given the freedom to play shots and spent 31 uncomfortable minutes at the crease before Bond ended his agony in his fourth over. He scored just one off 21 balls, played and missed on a few occasions, was struck on the chest by a Bond delivery before falling in an awkward manner. Sehwag took his eyes off the ball which did not rise up to his expectations, only to find to his horror the delivery hitting his gloves for Mark Richardson to take an easy catch at short-leg. The Indian batting continued to wobble as Sachin Tendulkar (9) also fell cheaply after having looked unconvincing during his 39-minute stay at the crease. The master batsman cut Oram over the slips and just began playing shots when Tuffey found the edge of his bat with the one that moved away a bit, with Scott Styris making no mistake at third slip. Skipper Saurav Ganguly walked in to bat at 26 for 3 and left his team struggling at 34 for 4 as he was beaten by the movement to be caught by his counterpart Stephen Fleming at first slip. Tuffey continued to exploit Indian batsmen's weaknesses and soon added Rahul Dravid (9) to the list of his victims. Dravid was beaten by a little bit of movement off the pitch and was caught behind to expose his team's tail.
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