Masterly 160 by Tendulkar gives India 241 lead

Published: Friday, March 20, 2009, 9:47 [IST]
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Tendulkar ton has India in charge

Hamilton: New Zealand are trailing by 241 runs after finally dismissing India for 520 at tea on the third day of the first Test in Hamilton on Friday.

The Black Caps enjoyed a partially successful second session at Seddon Park as Iain O'Brien got the vital breakthrough to dismiss Indian skipper MS Dhoni and followed that up with the prized wicket of Sachin Tendulkar.

But having got into the India tail, the New Zealanders were let down by slopping fielding which allowed the tail-enders to push the total beyond the 500-run barrier as Zaheer Khan finished unbeaten on 51.

By the time Tendulkar edged to Ross Taylor in the slips in the 14th over after lunch, the Little Master had gone from his lunch score of 135 to 160.

His 260-ball innings included 26 boundaries and lasted over six hours and was largely responsible for the demanding total posted by the Indians.

It was a superb delivery from O'Brien that forced the mistake from Tendulkar and he fully deserved the wicket after an excellent spell which saw him take two wickets for 11 runs in four overs.

O'Brien struck first in his second over after lunch where he had Dhoni is all sorts of trouble.

His first ball was edged just millimetres short of Jesse Ryder in the slips and two balls later the Indian captain feathered one to wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum to depart three runs shy of his 15th Test half-century.

That left India on 429 for six, having resumed after the interval on 384 for five.

Four overs later Tendulkar was on his way with the score on 443 for seven.

Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh took it to the New Zealand bowlers and added a further 20 runs before Harbhajan (16) slashed at one too many and found Daniel Vettori at mid-off, handing Kyle Mills his first wicket of the match.

Khan enjoyed two let offs on his way to a fine half-century that included eight boundaries.

Chris Martin missed one by a mile when the tail-ender was on 22, then Flynn dropped his second of the innings when Khan was on 34.

The Indian bowler made the most of it, hitting two successive fours to get himself into the forties - taking 13 runs off James Franklin in the process - and brought up his third test fifty with a risky single off the same bowler a few overs later that would have resulted in a run-out had the ball not bounced over the wicket.

Ishant Sharma lasted just 13 balls before edging one to McCullum off Vettori and the innings was finally wrapped up when Munaf Patel (nine) holed out to Martin at fine leg.

O'Brien was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers finishing with figures of three for 103 off 33 overs, including seven maidens.

Martin was the other leading wicket-taker with three for 98 off 30 (nine maidens) but Mills (one for 98 off 22) and Franklin (none for 98 off 23) were the most disappointing.

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