India in awe as Kiwis take flight

Published: Friday, March 27, 2009, 11:51 [IST]
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Kiwis rules Napier

New Delhi: India's hopes of grabbing 100th Test victory in Napier appears to be bleak now as New Zealand ensured firm grip on the second Test. It seems as if India has only two choices in Napier, either bow to Kiwis or to fight for a draw.

India went into stumps at 79-3, trailing New Zealand by 540 runs on day two of the second Test match at McLean Park on Friday. Indians still need 341 runs to avoid the follow-on.

Indian werer under pressure after the early dismissal of stand-in captain Sehwag by Vettori in his first over to put India at 48/1. Sehwag hit a six and and 5 fours in his 34-run knock that came off 25 balls. Patil gave the Kiwis the second breakthrough when he dismissed Gambhir for 16.

Daniel Vettori was lucky to get the third breakthrough when night watchman Ishant Sharma (0) was adjudged out leg before wicket by umpire Ian Gould even though there was an indise edge.

Earlier New Zealand declared their first innings at 619 for nine with Jesse Ryder (201) slamming his maiden double century and Brendon McCullum (115) a strokeful ton.

Jesse Ryder's 201 was his second hundred against India in three innings, proved the fulcrum around which New Zealand recovered from a shaky 23 for three to stack up an intimidating first innings total. Ryder's 201 was the third highest score by a New Zealander against India, sitting behind Graham Dowling's 239 and Bert Sutcliffe's unbeaten 230.

A powerful striker of the ball, he showed great ability to moderate his innings, defending when the bowlers demanded respect, attacking when they strayed in line and length.

There were moments when Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma troubled him with deliveries that slanted away from him, but he dug in heels to ensure that New Zealand would keep the series bubbling until the third Test at Wellington.


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