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New Zealand top-order collapses to spice up first Test (Lunch Report)

Posted on Feb 08 2014 | IANS

Auckland, Feb 8 : Ten wickets fell in an eventful lunch session that ended with India reducing New Zealand to 15 for four in their second innings on day three of the first Test here Saturday. The visitors were earlier bowled out for 202 after resuming the first innings from 130 for four.

India could only bat for 21 overs Saturday at Eden Park. Rohit Sharma added five to his overnight score to be the top scorer with 72 while Ravindra Jadeja remained unbeaten on 30.

New Zealand came out to bat instead of enforcing the follow-on and ended up losing four batsmen in 7.4 overs including first innings double centurion Brendon McCullum.

The home team still leads by 316 runs, courtesy its 503 in the first innings.

Indian fast bowlers, who could have bowled better on the first two days, found the right length in a brief spell on a wicket offering good contest between bat and ball.

Mohammed Shami bowled full and straight to trap Hamish Rutherford in front of the stumps on the sixth ball of the New Zealand innings.

The batsmen, who had a big opportunity to build on their first innings success, were brought down by an overtly aggressive approach.

Rutherford's opening partner Peter Fulton (5) was the next to go back in the hut. He went for a lofted drive off Shami and Jadeja took a sharp catch at short cover.

Jadeja as usual was a livewire on the field. He took a spectacular catch to dismiss Kane Williamson, diving towards the right at shot mid-wicket giving Zaheer his first scalp of the innings. New Zealand were now 11 for three.

Fortunately for the Indians, the dangerous McCullum (1) did not last long after he was dropped by Murali Vijay at first slip.

Jadeja was once in the pick of things soon after as his accurate throw from mid-wicket was picked up on the half volley from Ishant Sharma to run out the opposition skipper.

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