Dhoni's men end 41-year drought

Published: Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 10:46 [IST]
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India clinch historic series victory

Wellington: India secured  their first series victory on New Zealand soil in 41 years though rain denied them a deserving victory in the third Test here on Tuesday.

New Zealand were struggling at 281 for eight when rain stopped play just after the lunch on fifth day, after being set a massive target of 617 to win the final Test. The game was finally called off two hours 20 minutes later at 4.31pm local time with 57.3 overs remaining.

Ross Taylor was again the top scorer for the Black Caps with 107 following on from his first innings of 42.

Martin Guptill and James Franklin both scored 49 for the only other scores of note in the second innings.

Indian bowlers Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh were New Zealand's chief tormentors, although Sachin Tendulkar's introduction was lucrative with the little master taking two wickets for 26 runs in his six-over spell before lunch.

Khan finished with match figures of seven for 122 off 37.3 overs after taking five for 65 in the first innings. Harbhajan ended with seven for 102 off 56 overs after taking four for 59 in New Zealand's second innings.

Taylor (69) and Franklin (26) resumed in windy, overcast conditions when play began half-an-hour early following Monday's early finish.

The pair added a further 59 runs to the overnight score of 167 for four before Taylor was bowled by Harbhajan for 107.

The pair put on 142 runs in total, the highest fifth-wicket partnership by New Zealanders against India.

Taylor brought up his fourth Test century with a four down fine leg - his fourth boundary of the morning and 15th in total.

But two overs later he was cleaned bowled by the off-spinner to leave New Zealand on 226 for five, still needing 391 to win.

Brendon McCullum (six) went shortly afterwards, caught by Rahul Dravid via the gloves of Dhoni off the bowling of Sachin Tendulkar, although TV replays appeared to show the ball missing the edge of the bat.

The part-time spinner would have had the Black Caps vice-captain out without scoring had Munaf Patel made the catch at mid-off a few overs earlier.

Tendulkar bowled a good six-over spell, snaring two wickets for 26 runs, and caused Franklin, who survived an lbw shout by Khan early in the day, some problems before he finally got the all-rounder leg before wicket one run shy of his third half-century.

The day's play started with Taylor and Franklin resuming the New Zealand second innings at 167/4.


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