Kiwis crumble under Zaheer pressure
Virender Sehwag (96) narrowly missed out on a century but laid the foundation of a strong Indian reply after the host bowlers bundled out New Zealand for 350 on day two of the second cricket Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here today.
At stumps, the hosts were comfortably placed at 178 for the loss of two wickets with Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid batting on 11 and seven, respectively.
Earlier, Zaheer Khan added two more to his two wickets on the first day, to give the Indian batsmen enough time to notch up a competitive total.
Zaheer gave India the start they needed when the left-arm seamer, bowling from round the stumps, had Hopkins trapped in front in the day's third over.
The round-the angle line again did the trick for Zaheer as the seamer trapped Williamson before the batsman could get his bat around to give the bowler his fourth wicket.
Image: Zaheer Khan celebrates after dismissing Williamson on Saturday
Bhajji makes crucial breakthroughs
Then Harbhajan Singh, got into the act and accounted for four New Zealand batsmen, first removing Vettori, and then accounting for the crucial wicket of Ryder who was looking good for a century.
The burly New Zealander started the visitors' recovery after Tim McIntosh, in the company of Martin Guptill, laid the foundation with a sedate century on Friday.
Image: Daniel Vettori
Ryder's threatened to take game away from India
Ryder continued his good run with the bat as New Zealand, resuming at an overnight 258 for four, went to lunch at 341 for the loss of five more wickets.
The left-hander struck 10 boundaries during his knock that came off 120 deliveries, and got to his fifty with a cut over backward point off S Sreesanth.
The Harbhajan gave the hosts an important breakthrough when he had Ryder, who threatened to take the game away from India with a valiant knock of 70, caught at first slip by VVS Laxman.
Image: Jesse Ryder
Sehwag, Gambhir put India in driver's seat
When India came into bat, Sehwag smashed a typically aggressive 96 that came off 120 deliveries and included 15 fours and a six, while Gautam Gambhir, too, brought to an end his poor run of scores with a much-needed fifty.
Both the openers, however, got out in quick succession. Sehwag was bowled while trying to hoick Daniel Vettori over midwicket while Gambhir (54) was caught down the leg side by Gareth Hopkins off a Tim Southee delivery.
The flamboyant Sehwag drove, pulled and employed the cut with real authority during his stay at the wicket, while Gambhir relied on the occasional nudges, flicks and drives to collect his runs during their crucial 160-run partnership that gave India the platform to dominate proceedings on Sunday. The openers put on a partnership of 98 before getting out.
Image: New Zealand's captain Daniel Vettori celebrates with Jesse Ryder after the dismissal of Sehwag on Saturday