India inch closer to victory in Wellington Test (Tea Report)

April 6th, 2009 - 11:38 am ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan Singh Wellington, April 6 (IANS) Harbhajan Singh struck twice to reduce New Zealand to 136 for four at tea on the fourth day, taking India closer to victory in the third and final cricket Test at Basin Reserve here Monday.
Ross Taylor (48) and James Franklin (18) were battling against odds in overcast conditions as India took three wickets in the second session and inched closer to a series victory after 41 years on New Zealand soil.

New Zealand trail by a huge 481 runs with four sessions to survive to save the Test. India, resuming at overnight 349 for five, declared at 434 for seven before lunch, setting an improbable victory target of 617 runs.

Zaheer Khan, who removed Tim McIntosh to leave New Zealand at 37 for one at lunch, came back to rattle the stumps of Daniel Flynn.

Harbhajan then removed Martin Guptill (49) and dangerous Jesse Ryder in the same over to leave New Zealand at 84 for four.

Guptill was out lbw while trying to defend a Harbhajan delivery. Ryder was caught at slip by Dravid - his 183rd catch after he broke Mark Waugh’s record of most catches in the first session.

Earlier, resuming with an overnight lead of 531 runs, India rattled up another 85 runs in 18.1 overs to bat the hosts out of the contest. Dhoni (56) called off the innings after scoring his 16th 50, with Zaheer Khan on 18. Yuvraj Singh scored 40.

Zaheer then forced McIntosh to edge to third slip with a beauty, helping Dravid grab the world record for most catches by a fielder. Dravid went diving to his left at third slip to held onto a sharp catch.

His record 182nd catch came in his 134th Test.

Waugh’s 181 catches came in 128 Tests in a career spanning 11 years (1991-2002).

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