Ryder, Williamson star in New Zealand fightback (Roundup)

November 6th, 2010 - 8:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Jesse Ryder Ahmedabad, Nov 6 (IANS) Jesse Ryder carved out a magnificent third Test hundred and along with debutant Kane Williamson defied the Indian attack as New Zealand ended the third day at 331 for five in the first cricket Test here Saturday.

Incidentally, all the Test centuries of Ryder have come against India. The burly batsman, who was playing his first Test in 14 months, was involved in a 194-run stand for the fifth wicket with Williamson as Indian bowlers toiled hard for two sessions without much success.

The New Zealand pair’s partnership was broken off the last ball of the day when S.Sreesanth trapped Ryder leg before, two deliveries after he brought up his century in style, smacking the ball to the covers for a boundary, and pumping his fist and beating his chest in jubiliation.

Ryder, who had Ross Taylor as a runner for the latter half of his 205-ball knock, hit 10 fours and a six.

At stumps, Williamson was batting at 87 with visitors still 156 runs behind India’s first innings total.

The day clearly belonged to the Black Caps, who fought back from a precarious 148 for four at lunch after losing their two set batsmen Brendon McCullum (65) and Ross Taylor (56) in quick succession.

Ryder and Williamson dug their heels in to peg New Zealand back into the Test, which was dominated by India on the first two days. The two batmen bided their time with caution before lunch but looked at home once the second session began.

Ryder played a responsible innings which was punctuated with a flurry of boundaries. He reached his half-century the way he notched up his hundred, sweeping a Tendulkar full toss for a four. It was Ryder’s fifth Test hundred and came in 96 balls.

He, however, was spared a life at the individual score of 11 when Rahul Dravid fudged a shoulder high catch at the first slip off S.Sreesanth.

The 20-year-Williamson, who is touted as an exciting prospect and scored his maiden one-day century during the recent tour of Bangladesh, impressed with his stroke play and footwork.

He provided a good support to Ryder as they maneuvered their way towards avoiding a follow-on, which looked a possibility after the first session.

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni fast ran out of option. He drafted in Virender Sehwag and Suresh Raina to increase his spin options. Even Sachin Tendulkar rolled his arms for a couple of overs to break the deadlock but the two young Black Caps proved to be a determined lot.

Earlier, Indian spinners Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha removed McCullum and Taylor to press home advantage.

Resuming at 69 for two, McCullum and Taylor batted with purpose and runs came lucidly during their 104-run partnership for the third wicket.

After a cautious start, McCullum cut loose and produced some delectable strokes despite the turn in the wicket. His 50 came off 94 balls with nine fours. Taylor followed suit and suddenly the runs flowed thick and fast. Taylor brought up his 50 off 112 balls with six boundaries.

It was then Taylor flicked a Harbhajan delivery to the mid-wicket region to V.V.S. Laxman and departed with hand on his head in disappointment. His knock came off 124 balls and included six fours.

A bigger set-back followed when McCullum failing to judge a Ojha delivery was stumped by Dhoni. His innings came in 122 deliveries and included 11 fours.

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