Ryder, Williamson defy Indian attack (Tea Report)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

NEW DELHI - Jesse Ryder and debutant Kane Williamson dug their heels in to stretch New Zealand’s first innings total to 237 for four at tea in the first cricket Test against India here Saturday.

Ryder cracked his fifth Test 50 and along with Williamson stitched an unbroken century partnership for the fifth wicket as Indian bowlers toiled hard without any success.

At the break, Ryder was batting at 53 and Williamson at 45, with Black Caps still 250 runs behind the Indian first innings total.

The two batmen, after the quick dismissals of set batmen Brendon McCullum (65) and Ross Taylor (56), bided their time with caution before lunch but looked at home once the second session began. The Indian seamers toiled hard but were left short of ideas as the Ryder and Williamson maneuvered their way towards a solid partnership, adding 89 runs post lunch.

Ryder, when on 11, was spared a life when Rahul Dravid fudged a shoulder high catch at the first slip off S.Sreesanth.

Dhoni 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. Williamson especially impressed with his stroke play and footwork.

Ryder, playing his first Test in 14 months, played a responsible innings, punctuated with boundaries. He swept a Tendulkar full toss for a four to bring up his half-century in 96 balls.

Earlier, Indian spinners Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha removed half-centurions McCullum and Taylor to press home advantage at lunch.

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

The two posed a stubborn resistance to whatever was thrown to them and looked to give their side the stability they have been lacking of late.

After a cautious start, McCullum soon 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. 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 Indian skipper and wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, leaving New Zealand tottering at 137 for 4.

McCullum’s innings came in 122 deliveries and included 11 fours.

The visitors had lost the wickets of opener Tim McIntosh (0) and Bradley-John Watling (6) early in their innings on the second day.

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