Harbhajan’s second consecutive ton gives India a handy lead (Lunch Report)

Monday, November 15, 2010

HYDERABAD - Harbhajan Singh became the first No.8 batsman to score consecutive centuries in Test cricket and guided India to 472 in the first innings against New Zealand on the fourth day of the second cricket Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here Monday.

Harbhajan remained unbeaten on 111 and with Sreesanth (24) added 105 runs for the last wicket as India took a 122-run lead. New Zealand, who scored 350 in the first innings, made a calculative start to their second innings and were 37 for no loss at lunch with Tim McIntosh batting on 18 and Brendan McCullum on 15.

Resuming at 436 for nine, Harbhajan and Sreesanth lasted 10 overs to add 36 runs in the first hour of the day. Harbhajan, who was unbeaten on his overnight score of 85, hit a massive six off New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori to move from 91 to 97.

Harbhajan the completed his second Test hundred with a single down to deep fine leg off Tim Southee, sparking wild celebrations.

Sreesanth also went into the attacking mode and edged Southee over the slips to the third-man boundary. Southee had to suffer more as Harbhajan spanked him for a superb six to bring up the hundred partnership for the last wicket.

The fiesty off-spinner had scored a gutsy 115 in the first Test in Ahmedabad that helped India to draw the match.

As the New Zealand second innings began, McIntosh edged Zaheer Khan dangerously for two successive boundaries over the slips in the first over. McCullum also got into the act with two fours off Sreesanth through the covers and the backward point area.

Zaheer had to leave the field after he could bowl just three balls in the ninth over with an injury and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha had to chip in to finish the over.

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