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India on threshold of victory

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Published: Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 12:05 [IST]
 
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India on threshold of victory

With an overnight score of 24/1, New Zealand sunk further into trouble on the morning of the fourth day when the Indian spinners struck. Brendon McCullum and nightwatchman Gareth Hopkins tried to make a positive start, getting away a couple of fours between them. But in just the third over of the day, Ojha trapped McCullum plumb in front.

Scorecard     |     Ball by Ball       |     Commentary

Just a couple of overs later, Ojha removed the new batsmanm Martin Guptill in the same way for a duck. The next man to take guard was Ross Taylor, who counter attacked by smacking Sreesanth for two fours in the 19th over. But at the other end, there was more trouble when Gautam Gambhir took a sharp catch at short leg to remove Hopkins for 8 off Harbhajan. The spinners were clearly on top at this stage.

In the 29th over, India was in for a stroke of luck when the umpire mistakenly thought Taylor had inside-edged a ball that was caught by short leg. He was given out for 29 off Harbhajan Singh and New Zealand had slumped to 93/5. Then Jesse Ryder and Kane Williamson took New Zealand to over 100 in a desperate bid to try to save their side.

But Williamson was the next to go when he was out bowled to Raina for just 8. New Zealand were plodding along at 110/6 when Captain Courageous Daniel Vettori walked to the crease. He tried to delay the inevitable with a few forced shots, but his partner Ryder was the next man to head back to the hut when he holed out to Sharma at mid off, off Raina's bowling again. Raina's strikes had pegged New Zealand back even further.

To add to the tourists woes, Raina trapped Vettori in front for 13 in the 42nd over and India were surely looking at the bottom of the barrel. But Tim Southee decided he was going to go down fighting and hit Harbhajan for two sixes in the 43rd over. He and McKay lasted out to lunch with New Zealand on the sorry score of 140/8

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