New Zealand 254 for 7 at lunch in Wellington Test


Wellington : With weather holding out and Sachin Tendulkar picking up two quick wickets, India were close to victory in the third and final cricket Test as New Zealand went to lunch at 254 for seven here at the Basin Reserve Tuesday.

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At the interval, skipper Daniel Vettori was batting on 10 and Tim Southee yet to open his account with India requiring three more wickets to complete a 2-0 series win.

Resuming at 167 for four with rain forecast, New Zealand were well served by overnight pair Ross Taylor, who hit a stroke-filled century, and James Franklin dourly played out close to an hour and half of the extended first session. The fifth-wicket pair defied the Indian attack for 46 overs before it ended when Harbhajan bowled Taylor for 107.

Then Tendulkar came on with his zipping leg-spin to remove Franklin for 49 and Brendon McCullum in the last four overs before lunch.

Brief scores:

India 379 in 92.1 overs (Virender Sehwag 48, Rahul Dravid 35, Sachin Tendulkar 62, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 52, Harbhajan Singh 60; Chris Martin 4 for 98) and 434 for 7 decl. in 116 overs (Gautam Gambhir 167, Dravid 60, V.V.S. laxman 61, Yuvraj Singh 40, Dhoni 56 not out; Martin 3 for 70) New Zealand 197 (Tim McIntosh 32, Ross Taylor 42; Zaheer Khan 5 for 65, Harbhajan Singh 3 for 43) and 254 for 7 in 84 overs (Martin Guptill 49, Taylor 107, James Franklin 49; Harbhajan 3 for 55)