Kiwis off to rickety start, end day at 69/2

Zeecric Bureau

Ahmedabad: In reply to India’s solid first innings total of 487, New Zealand ended the second day of the first Test at 69/2, here at the Sardar Patel Stadium on Friday.

Chasing a first innings target of 488, the Kiwis started on a tumultuous note as they lost Tim McIntosh and BJ Watling quite early in the game.

The Kiwis got down to the field with openers McIntosh and Brendon McCullum hoping of a strong opening wicket partnership.

However, the hopes of the same went down the drain as Zaheer Khan was quick to dismiss McIntosh for a duck as he got him caught by wicket-keeper-cum-skipper MS Dhoni.

A few overs later, Pragyan Ojha struck to bowl out BJ Watling for 6 runs. The day was finally called off with the visitor’s scorecard reading 69/2.

Earlier, New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori did the final honours as he dismissed Harbhajan Singh to wrap India’s innings at 487 on the second day of the first Test here at the Sardar Patel Stadium on Friday.

New Zealand spinners ripped through the Indian middle order on the second day as the hosts resumed the game from their overnight score of 329/3.

As the second day commenced, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman held fort for India after the dismissal of biggies, Virender Sehwag (173) and Rahul Dravid (104) on the opening day.

Together Tendulkar and Laxman built a 66-run partnership, after which Indian origin Kiwi spinner Jeetan Patel caught the Mumbaikar off his own delivery for 40 runs, thus, denying his 50th Test ton. The dismissal left India’s scorecard reading 383/4.

Thereafter, Laxman and Suresh Raina tried to keep the momentum going for India but failed miserably as they lost their wickets in quick succession.

While Raina was caught by wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum off Kane Williamson’s delivery for mere 3 runs, Laxman was caught plumb in front of the wickets by Jeetan Patel for 40.

Soon after Laxman’s departure, the umpires called for a lunch break as India’s scorecard read 392/6.

The post lunch session started on an equally tumultuous note as skipper Dhoni gave away his wicket to the other skipper, Daniel Vettori for just 10 runs. Vettori got Dhoni caught by BJ Watling at short leg.

The miseries for India did not end their as Zaheer Khan too was quick to follow Dhoni back to pavilion. This time too, it was Vettori who did the honours as he bowled out Zaheer for a mere 1 run.

The double-dismissal in the second session reduced India to 412/8.

However, Harbhajan Singh stood true to his ‘trouble-shooter’ image as he slammed his eight Test half ton to take India beyond 450.

But the party was gate-crashed yet again by Jeetan Patel as he caught Pragyan Ojha plumb in front of the wickets for 11 runs. Finaly, Vettori dismissed Bhajji fr 69 runs, thus, bringing an end to Indian innings at 487.

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