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McIntosh ton props up New Zealand

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Published: Friday, November 12, 2010, 17:06 [IST]
 
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McIntosh ton props up New Zealand

Play continued in the same stream after tea with the batsmen consolidating nicely. McIntosh was growing in confidence against the spinners, carting Ojha for a huge six over mid-wicket in the 60th over. Taylor at the other end was giving him fine support and more of the strike.

Desperate for another breakthrough, captain Dhoni brought Raina into the attack in the 62nd over. The move didn't quite work as in the 66th over, he went for 8 runs with McIntosh hitting him for a boundary over the wide mid-on region.

New Zealand crossed 200 in the 67th over with Taylor first taking 2 runs off Khan and then cutting him to the boundary. But Taylor had played one shot too many when he edged a Zaheer Khan delivery to be caught behind for 24. The score at that point was 206/3.

Then Jessie Ryder who had barely recovered from a calf injury, joined forces with McIntosh. McIntosh scored his second test ton in the 84th over and New Zealand's score was at a 248/3. Two overs later, New Zealand moved past 250 with India taking the new ball. That was enough to help Khan induce a fatal inside edge onto his stumps from McIntosh, who had to depart for a well-made 102. Then Jesse Ryder and Gareth Hopkins played out the rest of the day and New Zealand were 258/4 at stumps.

The day began with Sreesanth making early inroads for India, removing the in-form Brendon McCullam for just 4. The Kiwi batsmen were clearly having problems dealing the the pace and bounce of Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth, but McIntosh, who was coming off a pair in his previous match, and Guptill who was making his debut in the series, weathered the storm admirably.

In the 6th over, Guptill was in for a scare when he edged an outswinger from Sreesanth that fortunately for him, landed well short of gully. In his next over, Sreesanth induced the outer edge from Guptill, but the delivery came off a no-ball and so the batsman suvrived. When Harbhajan was introduced in the 15th over, he nearly had Guptill caught behind, but Dhoni was not able to latch on to the catch and the batsman lasted out till lunch.

After lunch, Guptill and McIntosh continued the rebuilding with runs coming more freely. The spinners weren't able to make much of an impact straight up and Sreesanth too was struggling when brought back in intermediate overs.

Guptill reached his fourth fifty in Tests when he cut Ojha off the back foot for a boundary in the 33rd over. In the next over, the two took New Zealand's score to over 100 runs, picking 8 runs off a Sreesanth over. The duo had also notched up a 100-run partnership. McIntosh seemed to have slowed up as he was approaching his fifty, but finally got to the landmark in the 49th over, glancing Harbhajan for a boundary at fine-leg.

Ojha finally got the breakthrough in the 50th over when he trapped Guptill in front. The batsman had to depart on 85 with the score at 151/2 and Ross Taylor was the new man at the crease. Bhajji and Ojha tried to keep the pressure on McIntosh, but he stood as firm as a rock. Meanwhile Taylor, bided his time playing himself in and attuning to the spin of Bhajji and Ojha. McIntosh, unbeaten on 55 and Ross Taylor not out on 4 had taken New Zeland to 159/2 at Tea.

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