New Zealand strike twice to jolt India (Tea report)

March 28th, 2009 - 10:45 am ICT by IANS  

Jesse Ryder Napier, March 28 (IANS) India were struggling to save a follow-on after New Zealand dealt two blows, leaving them tottering at 253 for six, at tea on the third day of the second cricket Test at McLean Park here Saturday.
New Zealand dismissed a well-set Rahul Dravid for 83 while Yuvraj Singh went for a duck at tea. V.V.S Laxman was batting on 58.

India now trail by 366 runs and need 166 more to avoid following on.

Dravid and Laxman added 81 runs and looked like bailing out India from the crisis, just as they have done many times in the past, before Jesse Ryder removed Dravid with an innocuous delivery.

Dravid suffered a lapse of concentration as he chased a wide ball for a square cut only to edge it behind the stumps. He played 206 balls for his 55th half-century and hit 12 fours.

Yuvraj threw away his wicket as he went for an expansive cover drive off Chris Martin with his feet nowhere near the ball and gave a simple catch to second slip Tim Mcintosh.

Laxman stood solid, playing graceful shots on either side of the wicket.

He got into the groove, driving Patel twice to the on boundary in one over and then hitting medium-pacer Iain O’Brien for two more fours in the last over before lunch.

He handled Vettori and Patel almost effortlessly, caressing 11 fours in 127 balls.

Resuming Indian innings at 79 for three, Sachin Tendulkar and Dravid batted comfortably to put on 87 for the fourth wicket before the master batsman fell for 49.

Tendulkar was out one run short of his 52nd Test 50, caught at slip by Ross Taylor off off-spinner Jeetan Patel in the first session.

Tendulkar, who was naught overnight, was right on top of the New Zealand bowlers this morning and batted fluently till he tried to force Patel through the covers to be caught at first slip. He hit seven fours and a six.

West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove was unable to resume his duties on the third morning because of a chest infection. New Zealand third umpire Evan Watkin replaced him in the middle and fourth umpire Chris Gaffeney became the television umpire.

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