Sachin and Bhajji script a historic Indian win

Published: Saturday, March 21, 2009, 10:59 [IST]
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Sachin, Bhajji lead India to win

Hamilton: India beat New Zealand by 10 wickets, their first on New Zealand soil since 1974-75 , to take a 1-0 lead in their three-match series at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Saturday.

Rahul Dravid (8) and Gautam Gambhir (30) knocked off the easy target of 39 runs after New Zealand were bowled out for 279 earlier on Saturday.

Sachin Tendulkar was declared Man of the Match for his masterly knock of 160 runs in the first innings.


Harbhajan Singh took 6 for 63 - his best figures in overseas. It was also Bhajji's 23rd five-wicket haul in Test cricket.

Harbhajan got his fifth wicket when New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori (21) edged to his counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the catch.

The off-spinner took his fourth wicket when Daniel Flynn bat padded a doosra to forward short leg for Gautam Gambhir to take the catch. Flynn hit 10 fours in his 67-run knock.

This was after Harbhajan induced James Franklin (14) to play away from his body and edging a flighted delivery to backward point for Munaf Patel to take the catch.

Harbhajan dismissed first innings centurion Jesse Ryder to leave the hosts in a deep hole just minutes before the lunch break. Bowling from round the wicket, the ace off-spinner trapped Ryder plumb in front of the wicket, with a delivery that straightened after pitching and struck the southpaw on his left leg.

Flynn scored a composed half-century but New Zealand"s hopes of saving the Hamilton Test suffered a major setback with the loss of Ross Taylor (4) early in the session.

Munaf Patel, who gave India a crucial breakthrough during the closing stages on Friday, enticed Taylor into playing a false stroke after New Zealand"s overnight batsmen went through the first forty five minutes of play without any hiccups. Munaf received a bit of extra bounce outside the off-stump and Taylor, who was coring at a strike rate of 13, slashed hard and holed out to Sehwag at gully who took the catch side-on with both hands. The Indians were pumped up as they were just six wickets away from victory.

However highlight of the Hamilton Test was Sachin Tendulkar"s hundred – his 42nd in Test cricket –, It was this innings that turned Test in India's favour. Master blaster also went on to show why he is considered to cricket legend Don Bradman.


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