Hamilton Test: Tendulkars 42nd Test ton puts India in drivers seat

March 20th, 2009 - 2:22 pm ICT by ANI  

Harbhajan Singh

Hamilton (New Zealand), Mar.20 (ANI): India were firmly placed in the drivers seat on third day of the first Test against New Zealand being played at the Seddon Park in Hamilton, thanks to a master class 42nd Test ton by Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
Having started the day one run in arrears, India piled up a further 242 runs in two sessions before dismissing both New Zealand openers and Kyle Mills, the night-watchman, in 31 overs before stumps.
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, reports the cricinfo web site.
Tendulkar’’s 160 was made of 260 balls and he never allowed the Kiwi bowlers to settle.
India lost Yuvraj Singh to an error of judgment, but that did not stop Tendulkar and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni from adding 115 runs for the sixth wicket.
Tendulkar played some magnificent strokes all around the wicket, including a beautiful cover-drive in the days first over.
The partnership with Yuvraj was beginning to look ominous when Martin gave New Zealand some respite. Coming round the wicket, he got the ball to nip back off the seam. Yuvraj watched it all the way and just shouldered arms. The ball took the off stump.
Dhoni edged the first ball he faced just short of third slip, but all eyes on Friday were on Tendulkar as he put the Kiwi bowlers to the sword.
Tendulkar’’s 260-ball effort ended with an edge to first slip, after he tried to fend a bouncer down towards fine leg.
Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan chipped in with cameos, the latter scoring 51 and leading India beyond the 500-run mark.
When New Zealand batted a second time, opener Tim McIntosh lasted just three balls. There were doubts over whether the edge off Zaheer carried to Tendulkar at first slip and the fielder himself went off with a badly jammed and bleeding finger.
Martin Guptill and Flynn slowly set about building the innings with Guptill playing some glorious strokes through the covers and working the ball neatly off his pads. The shot of his innings was undoubtedly a swivel-pull for six off Ishant Sharma.
All the good work was undone in the final few minutes though. Guptill was just two short of a half-century on debut when he played a lazy drive at Harbhajan for Virender Sehwag to take a tumbling catch at mid-off and Munaf then trapped Mills in front with the last ball of the day.
The shouts of celebration reverberated around the ground, and the Indians took their time to walk off after a day when pretty much everything had gone their way. (ANI)

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