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India on top on Day 1

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Published: Saturday, November 20, 2010, 17:24 [IST]
 
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India on top on Day 1

After tea, New Zealand continued its slide with Gareth Hopkins the next man to head back to the pavillion for 7 when he was caught by second slip off Ojha. The Kiwis were teetering on the brink with the score at 82/6. Finally, McCullum who had delayed his entry due to an injury, came to the crease in a bid to save his side.

Jesse Ryder counter attacked from the other end, hitting Harbhajan Singh for a straight four in the 29th over. McCullum was tentative in getting off the mark to Ojha and played out the 30th over as a maiden, but took his first run off Bhajji in the next over. Ojha began bowling with two slips and a silly-point fielder in place.

Sreesanth returned in the 34th over to bowl a maiden to McCullum who was just content fending off the bowler. The runs were trickling at a slightly faster rate. In the 38th over, Ryder took New Zealand to over 100 and also notched up his 50. It was a brilliant knock given the circumstances. Later in the over, McCullum hammered Sreesanth through the covers for a boundary.

Then with Sharma and Ojha bowling in tandem, McCullum amd Ryder picked them for the occasional runs taking New Zealand to 124/6 in 47 overs. Then Bhajji came back into the attack to try and get a breakthrough. And just as desired, he picked up the wicket of Ryder for 59, caught brilliantly by Raina at extra cover. Tim Southee was the new batsman and played out the rest of the over. But it took him 18 balls before he was able to hit his first run.

In the 56th over, the batsmen picked Harbhajan for 7 runs, taking the score to 148/7 when bad light stopped play for the day. India were deprived of the last 14 overs, but it would be happy with the way things progressed on Day 1.

The day began nearly three hours late due to soggy condition of the outfield thanks to overnight rain. New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat first. It was a decision that went against them though, as they got off to a slow and shaky start.

In the 7th over, Sreesanth got an early breakthrough when he had Guptill caught behind for 6. Ross Taylor came in with the score on 11/1 and straight away slashed the bowler through cover for a boundary. But again Sreesanth was on top when he got McIntosh bowled for 4 in the 9th over. Now the Kiwis were on the back foot at 16/2. Jesse Ryder was the new man to join Taylor out in the middle. The two tried to weather the storm.

Captain Dhoni introduced Pragyan Ojha in the 12th over. In the fifth ball, Taylor edged the ball past slip for run for a lucky 3. Ryder clubbed Ojha for a four to mid wicket to get off the mark. But thing were not progressing smoothly at the other end.

Sharma removed Taylor via an lbw for 20 and in the very next over, Kane Williamson was dismissed by Ojha for a duck. New Zealand was reeling at 43/4 when the Kiwi skipper Daniel Vettori, took guard. New Zealand were badly in need of a captain innings, but he was not upto the task, getting out bowled by Sharma for just 3. The Kiwis were plodding along at 51/5 in 17 overs. Then Hopkins joined Ryder to take the Kiwis to 72/5 at tea.

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