India inch towards victory in the Hamilton Test (Lead)

March 21st, 2009 - 8:45 am ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan Singh Hamilton, March 21 (IANS) India need five wickets to wrap up the first cricket Test and if they have to bat again New Zealand need to add 95 runs more to their lunch score of 146 on the fourth day here at Seddon Park.
A dour Daniel Flynn moved from overnight 24 to 62 and James Franklin was with him on seven as the Black Caps, resuming at 75 for three, went to lunch at 146 for five.

India should feel happy with their showing in the first session, having grabbed the wickets of two attacking batsmen Ross Taylor for four and Jesse Ryder 21. They should have consumed Flynn, too, had Dhoni not muffed a caught-behind chance off off-spinner Harbhajan Singh when the batsman was on 55.

Munaf Patel and Harbhajan claimed a wicket each to add to their one Friday, but overall the Indian attack was more purposeful with Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma doing their bit as hosts struggled to score 71 runs off 26 overs in the session.

Flynn began the day on a dashing note, cutting and pulling Zaheer for fours. He then forced Munaf past point for two more and drove Ishant through the covers for another to get to his fifty off 118 balls.

New Zealand, who needed 42 overs to see the hundred on the board, lost Taylor, slashing Munaf straight to Virender Sehwag at point.

Ryder came to the crease with a positive intent and his first scoring stroke could have ended up as a catch to Harbhajan in the covers. He continued in the same vein to pull Zaheer for a four and a six.

The first-innings century-maker was beaten on the defence by a beauty from Harbhajan and it was an easy legbefore decision for umpire Simon Taufel, the ball striking the back leg.

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