Sachin Tendulkar scored his 42nd Test century and 85th in International cricket to help his team to score 520 in first inning and take a massive lead of 241 runs over New Zealand. At stumps New Zealand were struggling at 75/3 with D.Flynn batting on 24 and R.Taylor yet to face a ball.
India claimed three wickets in the final session of play to leave the host struggling at 75/3. New Zealand lost their third wicket on the final ball of today’s play, when Munaf Patel removed night watchman Kyle Mills for 2 runs.
New Zealand have disastrous start to their inning after trail by 241runs with their opener T.McIntosh got out on third ball of New Zealand 2nd inning caught by centurion Sachin Tendulkar on the bowling of Zaheer Khan. However M.Guptill and D.Flynn batted with caution to almost guide New Zealand to close of play without any further damage. But Harbhajan Singh have another idea as he removed dangerous looking M.Guptill (48 runs of 86 balls) caught by Vrendra Sehwag at short mid-off.
Earlier resuming from the overnight score of 70 runs, Tendulkar looks more solid and aggressive on third days play. He scored 20 runs of the first thirteen deliveries he faced in the first hour of play to quickly moves into the 90’s. Finally the moment of glory came when he pushed the ball to short square leg for single to score his second test century on New Zealand soil. After reaching his century he looks more dangerous as he started to score more freely.
On the other end Dhoni looks edgy to start with but as he spent time in the middle he started to dictate the term. However he failed to score his 15th half century by three runs edging the ball of I.O’Brien to wicket keeper B.McCullum. Soon after Tendulkar's 260 balls effort ended with an edge to first slip, after he tried to fend a bouncer down towards fine leg on the bowling of I.O’Brien giving him third wicket of the match.
But at that time India has already taken the lead of 164 runs. However with the cameo of 16 runs from 27 balls from Harbhajan and second test career half century by Zaheer Khan of just 45 balls helped India to get pass the score of 500. Zaheer not only scored his second half century of his career but also involved in the crucial partnership lower down the order which helped India to take pass the lead close to 250 run mark.
With Harbhajan Singh getting sharp turn and Munaf Patel hinting at some reverse swing, New Zealand's prospects of saving the game were decidedly slim. But it will be interesting to see how New Zealand player react to the situation when play resumes on fourth day.