Martin rattles Indian top order

Published: Sunday, November 7, 2010, 14:32 [IST]
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As India endeavoured to wrest back control of the first test, Suresh Raina got another breakthrough soon after lunch. He got the dangerous Vettori caught behind for 41. Now India had opened up the New Zealand tail with two new batsmen in Gareth Hopkins and Jeetan Patel, at the crease.

The two played themselves in nicely with Patel taking Raina for a boundary at the start of the 151st over when Murali Vijay was caught napping at mid-wicket. Patel and Hopkins appeared able to squeeze out runs at will, getting into double figures and playing Ojha and Sreesanth with ease. Patel survived a loud shout for LBW off Ojha in the 157th over, but Hokins was out three balls later when Ojha successfully appealed for the same. He had to walk back on 14 with the score reading 445/8 and with India now looking at the bottom of the barrel.

The previously injured Hamish Bennett came out to join Patel at the crease when it looked like India might be able to squeeze out a small first innings lead.Things were finally going India's way as Sreesanth got Patel in the next over for 14 as well. Bennett and Chris Martin tried to last out as long as they could, closing up the gap with India's first innings score. But Zaheer Khan had the last laugh, bowling Bennett for 4 and wrapping up the New Zealand innings for 459. India had secured a slim lead of 28 runs from the first innings.

In the second innings, India got off to the worst possible start when Gautam Gambhir was caught behind off Martin for a duck. Virender Sehwag was the next to go in the very next over when he was run out by a smart bit of fielding at wide mid-off. The score read a startling 1/2. Dravid didn't last long either, edging a straight ball from Martin to be caught behind for 1. New Zealand had reduced the hosts to 2/3 after 5 overs. The umpires called "tea" with a lot resting on the shoulders of Tendulkar and Laxman.



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