New Zealand spinners bowl India out for 487 in first innings


Ahmedabad : Harbhajan Singh slammed a half-century before New Zealand spun India out for a first innings total of 487 at tea on the second day of the first cricket Test here Friday.

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New Zealand spinners continued to trouble the Indian batsmen in the second session of the day. Skipper Daniel Vettori (4-118), who is playing is 100th Test, led the way by snaring three wickets post lunch, on a slow track.

Harbhajan’s 97-ball 69, with five fours and three sixes brought India close to a 500-plus total. His 66-run parternship with fellow spinner Pragyan Ojha was the only resistance Indian tail provided against the New Zealand attack.

Vettori struck soon after the lunch with swift dismissals of Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (10) and Zaheer Khan (1). Dhoni inside-edged a catch to Bradley-John Watling at forward short leg while Zaheer was bowled out.

Vettori and off-spinner Jeetan Patel (3-135) then ran through the Indian tail. Harbhajan was the last Indian wicket to fall and Vettori’s fourth victim when he was caught behind attempting a late cut. The tea was immediately called.

Earlier, a late three-wicket burst by New Zealand spinners restricted India to 392 for six at lunch.

Sachin Tendulkar (40) and V.V.S Laxman (40) began cautiously and the fourth-wicket pair added 66 runs. But Patel and Kane Williamson picked Tendulkar and Suresh Raina in quick succession to turn the heat on India.

When Patel trapped Laxman leg before on the last ball before lunch, the Black Caps had taken their third wicket for a mere nine runs in the the first session of the day.

Resuming at 329 for three, Tendulkar and Laxman added another 54 runs without any hiccups. Tendulkar, who is eyeing is 50th Test century, got out to a rather soft dismissal when he returned an easy catch to Patel off his own bowling and the visitors broke into celebrations.

The New Zealand attack, which was handed a brutal treatment by the first day centurions Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid, bowled a far more disciplined line in the morning and were aptly rewarded. Debutant Hamish Bennett, who strained his groin Thursday, however, could not take to the field.