NZ bowl India out for 487 at tea

Published: Friday, November 5, 2010, 14:29 [IST]
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NZ bowl India out for 487 at tea

India had to look at steadying the innings following lunch, after the Kiwis ripped through the middle order in the first session. With captain M S Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh new to the crease, reviving the innings was going to be a difficult task.

Dhoni started off in a belligerent fashion, carting Patel for a straight six. But his heroics didn't last long as he was out in the 124th over playing poorly to a straighter one from Vittori to be caught by Watling at short leg.

Dhoni's dismissal opened up the tail to the Kiwis who went hard at Zaheer and Harbhajan. Zaheer was struck with a serious case of the jitters, barely surviving a loud appeal for LBW at the start of the 126th over and three balls later, nearly giving a catch a short leg. The two tried hard to contend with the pressure, but Zaheer soon caved into Vettori who castled him with a vicious off-break and India had suddenly fallen to 412/8. New Zealand were clearly looking at the bottom of the barrel, but there was to be a twist in the tale.

With no support at the other end, Harbhajan had just one way to go. He hit Patel for a huge six and then a boundary in the 129th over. But then Harbhajan exposed Ojha to the bowler and it was upto him to play out the over. The pressure lifted slightly when he inside-edged Vittori for a boundary in the 132nd over.

The duo bided their time, playing the ball for ones and twos while Harbhajan let fly for the occasional boundary. He brought up his fifty in the 141st over by taking a two off Williamson and along with Ojha took the score to 478 before Ojha was out LBW for a hard-fought 11. Harbhajan finally went for 69 in the 152nd over when he was caught behind off Vettori. India had notched up 487 before being bowled out. We will have to wait till after tea to see the New Zealand response.

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