Nagpur: Indian bowlers worked in tandem on Saturday to paralyze the New Zealand batting order after they elected to bat first in the third and final Test match being played at Nagpur’s Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.
New Zealand were 148 for seven when bad light stopped play 20 minutes before scheduled close of play on day one.
S. Sreesanth started the proceedings for India by sending the opening batsmen Martin Guptill (six) and Tim McIntosh (four) back to the pavilion with the team score on 2-16.
It was then Ishant Sharma and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha’s turn to join in the party where they scalped Ross Taylor (20), Kane Williamson (naught) and captain Daniel Vettori (three) to have the visitors tottering at 5-51.
Sreesanth finished with the figures of 2-20 in nine overs, Ishant finished with 2-32 in 13 overs, while Ojha had figures of 2-49 in 19 overs.
Only Jesse Ryder among the Black Caps prospered today, scoring a stylish 59 off 113 balls.
The left-handed batsman initially shared a 31-run sixth wicket partnership with Gareth Hopkins (seven) before adding crucial 42 runs for the seventh wicket with Brendon McCullum.
Ryder was struggling with a calf injury, while McCullum had suffered a back-strain when he landed awkwardly during fielding practice earlier in the day.
However, both the batsmen provided resistance and played courageously against quality bowling put on display by the Indians.
Ryder was eventually dismissed by Harbhajan Singh, who finished with figures of 1-42 in 15 overs.
His half-century extended his golden run against India, which includes a century in the first Test and 70 in the second Test.
McCullum (34 not out) and Tim Southee (seven) were the unbeaten batsmen on crease.