An outstanding bowling performance by Zaheer Khan and second fiddle role from Harbhajan Singh helped India to bundle New Zealand first inning for 197 runs providing India a big lead of 182 runs. At stumps India manage overall lead of 233 with the loss of Virendra Sehwag wicket. With nine wickets still in hand they are move a step closer of creating history on New Zealand soil.
Zaheer Khan claimed his sixth five wicket Test haul, while Harbhajan provided good support from other end by maintaining a tight line and length. In the end both bowler came out with outstanding test figure. Zaheer had figures of 65/5 while Harbhajan had 48/3 before India reached 51/1 at stumps.
Gautam Gambhir was batting on 28 while Rahul Dravid was batting on 9 runs and both were looking good at the end of days play.
During New Zealand inning M.S.Dhoni achieved another feet by taking six catches. He is only second Indian wicketkeeper to involve in six dismissals in an inning after S.Kirmani effort against New Zealand in 1976 and 14th in world cricket.
Like first days play, second days play was more exciting as crowd went on to witness parts of three innings. First it was India who resumes there inning on 375/9 but after adding another 4 runs to their tally bowled out for 379 runs. Then New Zealand started their inning and just after tea they bundled out for 197 and then India played 16 remaining overs of the day.
New Zealand started their inning in quite controlled manner and when it was looking that both openers will give the host a perfect start, Zaheer switching to round the stumps manage to nip back a deliveries from outside off-stump Guptill tried to stand tall to defend a short one angled into him, and could only get an inside-edge onto his stumps.
D.Flynn who missed the second test match only manages 2 runs before edging the delivery of Zaheer Khan to captain M.S.Dhoni. T.McIntosh after played-and-missed on several occasions reached to 32 runs but Zaheer Khan has other ideas. He manage to get the ball jump from the pitch and McIntosh couldn’t able to get his bat out of the way, edging to Yuvraj Singh standing at first slip who didn’t made any mistake this time.
That brought two New Zealand best batsman’s R.Taylor and J.Ryder (3 runs) at the crease. J.Ryder who scored two consecutive century in his last two test match looks edgy right from the start and in the end throw his wickets away by edging a wide delivery of Zaheer Khan to M.S.Dhoni.
New Zealand lack any sustainable partnership during their innings, the best of all was the partnership between R.Taylor (42 runs) and T.McIntosh (32 runs) of 49 runs for the third wicket.
Ross Taylor was the only batsman who stood firm, scoring a classy and unblemished 42, but none of the other batsmen looked the part. Other than him no batsmen manage to get going.
With the 1-0 lead in the three match test series, India just need draw in this match to register series win in New Zealand after the gap of 41 years. But with three days still left in Wellington Test India is on well verge on winning the series by 2-0 margin.
From tomorrow (5th of April) the game will start from 04:30AM Indian Standard Time.