After New Zealand speedster Chris Martin demolished India's top order on Day 4, VVS Laxman and Harbhajan Singh got off to a steady start in the first session on Day 5. The duo took India's second innings total past 100 and pressed on, even as Vettori and Patel pummeled away at them.
In the 50th over, with the score on 104/6, Laxman attempted a straight drive and nearly gave a return catch to Vettori in the process. Luckily, the ball fell short and Laxman survived. Two overs later, Bhajji edged Patel, but the ball didn't carry to slip and he lived on.
That did little to unsettle him though, as two balls later, Harbhajan played a reverse-paddle for four. That shot brought up the 50 partnership for the two batsmen, desperately required in the context of the game.
Soon afterwards, Laxman reached his half century in style, sweeping Patel for a boundary. Having faced 155 balls upto that point, Laxman had clearly played a very patient innings. In the 60th over, Bhajji reached his fifty in just 79 balls, bringing up the landmark with a four off Martin past gully.
The two took the score past 150 in the 66th over when Laxman slammed Williamson to the mid-wicket boundary. They had brought India to 164/6 at lunch, leaving New Zealand with some thinking to do before the second session on Day 5 of the first test match.