Kiwis struggling at 148 for seven against India

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NAGPUR - An excellent display by the Indian bowlers saw New Zealand being reduced to 148 for seven in their first innings after the first day’s play in the third and final cricket Test here Saturday.

No play was possible in the first session of the day due to a soggy outfield, caused by persistent rains for the last one week, at the Vidarbha Cricket Stadium in Jamatha.

Till the toss, New Zealand were looking at a rare chance of pulling off a series win after the first two Tests ended in a draw. But New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori’s decision to bat first backfired as fast bowlers Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma picked up two wickets each to reduce the visitors to 72 for five at the tea break.

At stumps, Brendan McCullum, who came in to bat at No.8 after injuring his back in the morning, was batting on 34 and Tim Southee on seven after Jesse Ryder scored a fighting 59 to bring some respectability to the innings.

Sreesanth gave India the first breakthrough after opener Martin Guptill (6), who replaced McCullum, nicked behind the stumps. In his next over, Sreesanth picked up Tim McIntosh (4) with a delivery that castled him after sneaking in between the bat and pad.

Sharma, who replaced Zaheer Khan in the team, trapped Ross Taylor (20) plumb in front and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha reduced the visitors to 43 for four after Kane Williamson, who failed to open his account, gave a simple catch to Virender Sehwag at short cover.

Sharma removed Daniel Vettori (3) in his second spell when the New Zealand captain played onto his stumps while trying to pull.

Ryder perished in his attempt to scoop off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to extra cover and Suresh Raina took a smart catch.

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