India win 1st Test, take 1-0 series lead

Dominant India defeated New Zealand by 10 wickets in the 1st Test to take 1-0 lead. This is India's first Test win in New Zealand since 1976.

updated: March 22, 2009 17:56 IST
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New Delhi:

Dominant India defeated New Zealand by 10 wickets in the 1st Test to take 1-0 lead. This is India's first Test win in New Zealand since 1976. Sachin Tendulkar was adjudged Man of the Match for his brilliant 160 runs. Harbhajan Singh took six wickets in the match.

India wrapped up New Zealand's second innings on 279 with the hosts giving a 38-run lead. Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid opened India's 2nd innings to hit another 39 runs for the historic win, which seemed almost like a formality. Gambhir hit a brisk 30 off 18 balls and Dravid added 8 runs to take India to a memorable win in New Zealand after 33 years.

With their overnight total of 75/3, New Zealand's Ross Taylor walked in to replace Kyle Mills, who was removed by Munaf Patel on the last ball of the third day's play, along with Daniel Flynn resumed batting on the crucial fourth day. The hosts were then trailing by 166 runs with seven wickets in their pocket.

Zaheer Khan initiated the proceedings with the new ball and lanky Ishant Sharma joined him in. Daniel Flynn looked alert since morning and cautiously raised third half-century of his Test career to take New Zealand past 100-run mark.

But Flynn-Taylor partnership could only add up 35 odd runs to the scoreboard as the latter gave away his wicket to Patel for mere 4 runs. Sehwag took a neat catch to give early breakthrough to the visitors. Jesse Ryder stepped in next when New Zealand struggled on 110 for 4.

Ryder was expected of some consistency with his form but failed to live up to the hopes and added just 21 runs to the board before he fell to India ace spinner Harbhajan Singh. He caught him plumb before the wickets. James Franklin then joined Flynn who looked set in the middle.

At the stroke of lunch, the hosts managed 146 runs at the loss of five wickets. First session saw 71 runs being added to the scoreboard at the cost of two wickets. Flynn and Franklin were careful enough to push New Zealand past 150-run mark.

Harbhajan Singh continued with his spell and signaled danger for the depleted Kiwi batting line-up. Franklin (14) was his next victim, who gave an easy catch to Munaf at point.

Brendon McCullum joined Flynn at the crease to reach up to the set total by the tourists and in turn set a decent lead to save the match for their side. But Harbhajan struck for the third time to cut short Flynn's outing through Gambhir's catch at forward short-leg. His 67 runs gave a sense of hope to beleaguered Kiwis which was soon diminished by the mighty Indians.

New Zealand struggled at 161 for 7 when skipper Daniel Vettori came in to revive Kiwi innings. He made 21 runs and gifted another Kiwi wicket to Harbhajan off Dhoni. Ian O'Brien entered next to partner McCullum and both played safe on 5 and 30 when New Zealand were 216/8 at tea.

O'Brien (14) stuck around for a while, supported McCullum well and made his way out. McCullum raised his 13th half-century of his Test career in the last session. It was yet again, Harbhajan who did the honors for India, clinching sixth wicket of the match in the form of O'Brien.

McCullum (84) looked set to smash his third Test century but part-time spinner Yuvraj Singh spoiled the party with the help of Laxman at short fine-leg. 38-run lead was all Kiwis could manage and India were virtually set for the first Test win in New Zealand since 1976.

In reply to hosts' first innings total of 279 runs, India were all out for 520 runs with a lead of 241 runs. Tendulkar led Indian batting's motivated performance.