New Zealand gain big lead despite batting collapse (Tea Report)
Posted on Feb 08 2014 | IANS
Auckland, Feb 8 : New Zealand stretched their lead to 379 runs against India despite being 78 for seven at tea on day three of the first Test at Eden Park here Saturday.
Barring Ross Taylor (41), New Zealand batsmen failed to apply themselves on a decent wicket. Mohammed Shami (3/33) was the pick of the Indian bowlers and was supported well by Zaheer Khan (2/23).
New Zealand lost three wickets in the session after being reduced to 15 for four at lunch. India were bowled out for 202 in their first innings before lunch but the home team decided against enforcing the follow-on.
Ten wickets fell in an eventful lunch session that ended with India reducing New Zealand to a precarious position.
India could only bat for 21 overs Saturday. Rohit Sharma added five to his overnight score to be the top scorer with 72 while Ravindra Jadeja remained unbeaten on 30.
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.
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 the 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.