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Mohammed Shami, Zaheer Khan lead India fightback, reduce New Zealand to 78/7

Saturday, 8 February 2014 - 10:17am IST | Agency: PTI
  • Reuters

Mohammed Shami and Zaheer Khan shared five wickets between them as India reduced New Zealand to 78 for seven but the hosts still had a tight grip over the first cricket Test with an impressive lead of 379 at tea, here today.

It was dramatic comeback for India, who were bundled out for a mere 202 in the morning session of the third day after resuming at 130 for four.

India needed a good start but overnight batsmen Rohit Sharma (72) and Ajinkya Rahane (26) did not last long as the visitors managed to add just 72 runs today. 

New Zealand had gone to lunch at 15 for four and thereafter Taylor (41) and Corey Anderson looked to rebuild the innings but their efforts were thwarted by Shami (3/33), who bowled a fiery spell of six overs. 

And he got reward for his efforts as he bowled Anderson (2) in the sixth over after play resumed. The Black Caps were down to 25 for five with Taylor still at the crease and under tremendous pressure to put forth a proper fourth-innings' target after choosing not to follow on.

BJ Watling gave him support as the two players added 38 runs for the sixth wicket. But just when they were beginning to look comfortable, Taylor cut one from Zaheer (2/23) to be caught at gully by Ajinkya Rahane. He faced 73 balls, and hit four fours as well as a six.

It was an intense session with runs coming in a trickle and the batsmen looking to survive. The overs went past quickly as Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja (1-5) came on for a bit. But with the break looming, skipper MS Dhoni once again employed Shami in hope of another wicket. 

But it was Jadeja who delivered at the other end, sending back Tim Southee (14) even as the tailender was looking to play some attacking shots. Watling was unbeaten on 11 runs (70 balls) as the Kiwis stared at a shock collapse. 

Looking to make use of the new-ball, Shami came out firing, with wickets of both openers. He trapped Hamish Rutherford leg before for a first-ball duck off the last ball of the very first over of the innings, and then, two overs later, he had Peter Fulton (5) caught driving at cover, where Jadeja took a regulation catch. 

Jadeja was once again in action in the sixth over, when he took a screamer of a catch to send back in-form Kane Williamson, off Zaheer. This was a second stunning catch by the all-rounder after his effort to dismiss Brendon McCullum in the first innings. Jadeja was not done yet, running out the New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum (1) in another brilliant fielding display as lunch was taken.

McCullum was given a life in the eighth over, when Murali Vijay dropped a dolly at first slip.


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