Martin leaves India tottering at 2/3 at tea (Tea report)

November 7th, 2010 - 5:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Chris Martin Ahmedabad, Nov 7 (IANS) Chris Martin’s twin strikes left India reeling at three wickets for a paltry two runs in their second innings at tea on the fourth day of the first cricket Test here Sunday.

After bowling out New Zealand for 459 in their first innings after lunch and taking a slim lead of 28, India swiftly lost their three top order batsmen with visitors heading into the break smelling an unlikely victory.

Sachin Tendulkar was yet to open his account at tea, with hosts ahead by 30 runs.

Martin (2-0), the most experienced of the New Zealand seam attack, sent shivers down the Indian camp when opener Gautam Gambhir inside-edged him to wicket-keeper Gareth Hopkins for a duck off the third ball of the innings.

More shock followed when substitute fielder Martin Guptill after making a brilliant diving save at mid-off, threw accurately to send first day’s centurion Virender Sehwag (1) back in the next over.

Rahul Dravid (1) and Sachin Tendulkar (0) cautiously bided their time to arrest the rot but Martin, who was getting to swing the ball, struck again. Dravid got a faint edge and Hopkins made no mistake in gobbling it.

Earlier, New Zealand batting crumbled post lunch. Kane Williamson, however, sparkled in the morning session by stroking a century on debut.

The 20-year-old became the youngest of the eight Black Caps to achieve this feat when he flicked Zaheer Khan to fine leg for a boundary. He was dismissed on 131 (299b, 10×4) when he edged Pragyan Ojha to V.V.S. Laxman at the first slip in the last over before lunch but by that time the visitors had crossed the 400-run mark.

Resuming at 331 for five in the morning, Williamson and Vettori had little difficulty in negotiating the Indian bowlers, who once again failed to get any purchase from the slow Motera wicket.

Williamson, who began the morning on 87, hooked Zaheer’s short delivery to move to 97 and two balls later he flicked his ninth boundary to reach his hundred, grinning and raising his bat to his teammates. His century came in 244 balls in 24 minutes into the morning session. Williamson and Vettori added 86 runs for the sixth wicket.

Vettori (41), who is playing his 100th Test, provide solid support to Williamson but fell soon after lunch. His departure triggered a collapse, with visitors losing their last five wickets for 42.

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