India exposes New Zealand's middle order

Published: Saturday, November 6, 2010, 12:11 [IST]
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India exposes New Zealand's middle order

New Zealand began the third day of the first test against India in a positive frame of mind. Brendon McCallum and Ross Taylor built on their side's overnight score of 69/2, picking the singles and doubles and welcoming the occasional boundary. In the 39th over, Taylor got stuck into Harbhajan Singh cutting him away to point boundary in two consecutive balls.

Three overs later, Taylor brought up his fifty with another cut shot off Harbhajan. He and his partner were well on the way to steadying the ship for New Zealand. Bhajji finally got his man in the 45th over when Taylor flicked a flighted delivery to short mid-wicket where Laxman was waiting to swallow him up. Taylor was walking back for a well-made 56 off 124 balls with the score at 136/3. Then the all-rounder Jesse Ryder joined McCullam at the crease to push on.

But they had barely started their partnership when McCullam was out for 65 in the 49th over. He got stumped off a drifting delivery from Ojha. The score now read a worrying 137/4 with two new batsmen at the crease in Ryder and Kane Williamson. What followed was some quiet overs with the new duo just trying to rotate the strike as best they could. They added a few runs to take their side to 148/4 at lunch. Will India be able to wrest back the initiative in the second session? Wait and see.

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