3rd Test, Day 4: India v NZ commentary

Last updated: 23rd November 2010  

India win by an innings and 198 runs So then India win the match and the series with a pretty convincing victory in Nagpur. New Zealand were always going to struggle after scoring just 193 in the first innings. India responded with 566. The visitors never got going in the second innings as the ball started to turn quite a bit. In the end they fell short by quite a distance as the spinners shared seven wickets between them. Thank you for your company. Don't forget the ODI series starts on Sunday and we will provide you with live commentary of that. Cheers.

Over 52 Sharma W-W 175-9 - Dhoni has had enough of the fun and games and brings Ishant Sharma back into the attack. WICKET! Great move from the Indian skipper as the fast bowler gets the wicket straightaway. Full and straight and Southee looks to go to leg-side (I'm sure you guessed that), but misses the ball. It crashes itno his stumps. The Fat Lady is ready for the opening note as Chris Martin, a geniune No 11, strides out. WICKET! The Fat Lady can now start her song as it takes Sharma one ball to dismiss Martin. Full and straight and there's a big gap between bat and pad. It clips the bails and that is that.

Over 51 Harbhajan 0-0-2-0-1-1 175-8 - McKay looks pretty competent with the bat. He averages 11 in first-class cricket. He clears mid-off and comes back for a second, and then takes one to point. Southee keeps the strike with a single. No need for me to tell you that it was on the leg-side.

Over 50 Ojha 1-0-1-6-2-2 171-8 - Another swipe to the off-side from Southee not middled. One is the result. Play and miss from McKay. He comes forward, but it spins wide of his bat. Southee is down the track again and this time it hits the middle of the bat and goes over the long-on fence. All of Southee's runs have been scored on the leg-side. He gets a couple more twos... yep, to the leg-side.

Over 49 Harbhajan 1-0-0-0-0-0 159-8 - Harbhajan scratches is beard as another ball falls safe. Southee gets a top edge and Sharma runs in from fine leg, but it lands a few metres away. McKay decides to pad up. Bhajji got really excited, but the umpire immediately shook his head.

Over 48 Ojha 0-4-0-2-0-0 158-8 - Andy McKay comes forward and edges it down to third man for a boundary. Again he's on the front foot, but this time it just misses the edge. Another couple of runs to third man, but he was more in control of the shot.

Over 47 Harbhajan 1-1-1-0-0-1 152-8 - Southee takes a single to backward square leg while McKay dabs it to the off for one. Shouts of 'catch' as Southee goes for another big shot. It falls well short of the man at deep midwicket though.

Over 46 Ojha 0-0-0-4-0-0 148-8 - Ojha also gets an opportunity to add more wickets to his tally. He starts with an arm ball straightaway and McKay goes back into his crease to defend. Risky stuff as McCullum was dismissed that way. McKay shows he knows what he's doing as he rocks back to crack it through cover for four.

Over 45 Harbhajan 0-2-1-0-1-0 144-8 - Harbhajan will continue after the break and Tim Southee is the man on strike. Southee defends the first one and then swings it through midwicket, but he doesn't middle it and it's only a couple. He's not going to hang around. He uses his feet next ball, but it's one down the ground. McKay is happy to turn over the strike.

Welcome back There are smiles on the faces of all the Indian players as they march out to the middle. Why wouldn't they be happy? Victory is within their sight. Tim Southee and Andy McKay look a little more serious.

Lunch Seven wickets in that extended session, and you have to suspect this won't last long after lunch. Southee should keep things interesting with his ability to hit a long ball, but India need just two wickets to claim series victory when play resumes in 40 minutes. Join us then.

Over 44 Ojha 0-0-0-0-0-0 140-8 - Ojha is given the ball for the final over of the session, but McKay sees his team safely through to the lunch interval.

Over 43 Harbhajan 6-0-0-1-3-6 140-8 - Huuuuge six from Southee, who comes down the track to get to the pitch of the ball and smashes it well over long-on. This is a reasonable size boundary and that went a fair way back. He's very nearly out stumped next ball though, but gets his bat down in the nick of time. He actually slammed the bat down in such a hurry that it bounced, and the third umpire had a difficult decision to make as to whether the bat was down or up again when the bails were removed. In the end he gives the benefit to the batsman, which seems fair. A single puts Andy McKay on strike, and he drives through cover off the back foot. There's absolutely no-one there though, and Harbhajan ends up running all the way to the boundary to field off his own bowling and save a run. Then Southee hammers another massive six over long-on to end an entertaining over.

Over 42 Raina 0-0-0-W-0-0 124-8 - WICKET! Raina has a golden arm this morning! He traps Vettori lbw with one that doesn't turn much at all. Just drifts into him from around the wicket and hits him on the knee roll in front of middle. Fairly easy decision for Taufel, who gives it some thought and the raises the finger to send Vettori on his way.

Over 41 Harbhajan 0-0-1-0-0-0 124-7 - Well I dare say I saw this coming at the beginning of the day, and New Zealand now look quite likely to be bowled out just after lunch. They've finally had to contend with some proper Indian conditions and they've been found wanting, although their downfall was set up on the opening day. Vettori clips to square leg for a single, and Southee is nearly bowled around his legs trying to sweep.

Over 40 Raina 1-W-0-0-0-0 123-7 - WICKET! Raina is rewarded for a good day of fielding by being given the ball, and he strikes with just his second delivery. Ryder decided he wanted to dictate terms to the part-time offspinner, but comes down the track and hits straight to Ishant at mid-off. He was trying to clear him, of course, but failed. Raina gets a slap on the head from all his disbelieving teammates. New Zealand's tail is exposed now, but Tim Southee is able to see off the rest of the over quite easily.

Over 39 Harbhajan 0-0-0-0-0-0 122-6 - Harbhajan is actually struggling with the amount the ball is turning, which means he has to start on middle and leg and turn the ball away from the left-handers. As soon as he drifts onto off stump the batsmen can leave it too easily. Ryder has a couple of booming drives well stopped by Raina at short cover.

Over 38 Ishant 4-0-0-0-4-0 122-6 - Vettori seemed to be expecting a short ball first up, and was in position to be inside the line and pull it away fine immediately. He gets four after executing the shot perfectly, and Ishant follows it up with another short one. This time the New Zealand skipper ducks under it, but as Ishant bowls a third short ball - this time not as short as the first two - he pulls it straight into Gambhir at short leg. The two of them share a joke about it, and then later in the over Vettori punches through cover off the back foot for four.

Over 37 Harbhajan 1-0-0-0-0-3 114-6 - Ryder is nearly run out - or at least his runner, Guptill, is nearly run out - taking a quick single to cover. A direct hit and he would have been gone. Harbhajan has two left-handers to bowl at now, but Vettori gets off the mark in style, sweeping through midwicket for three.

Over 36 Ishant 1lb-1-0-0-W-0 110-6 - WICKET! Bowled 'im! That kept low, leaving Williamson with little chance to get his bat down as the ball zooted into off stump. He could perhaps have come forward to that as it wasn't so short, but in fact his feet hardly went anywhere as he found himself trapped on the crease. Daniel Vettori in now as New Zealand's last recognised batsman.

Over 35 Harbhajan 1-0-0-0-0-0 108-5 - Dropped! Very nearly a repeat dismissal for Ryder. He was out smashing one straight to a shortish cover in the first innings, and he plays the exact same shot here but is let off when Gambhir puts him down. That flew very quickly but it was straight at him and should have been taken.

Over 34 Ishant 0-0-0-3-2-0 107-5 - Williamson clips to deep square leg with the help of an inside edge, and Guptill runs really hard to come back for three as fine leg runs around to do the fielding. Good cricket from New Zealand there, and they follow it up with two more as Ryder mistimes a pull through midwicket. Time for a drinks break.

Over 33 Harbhajan 1-1-0-0-0-0 102-5 - Ryder is beaten by an absolute ripper which turns past the outside edge, and then Harbhajan gets excited for no reason at all. Ryder swept into his own foot and the ball popped up for Dhoni to take, but while the umpires go upstairs merely to appease Bhajji the replay shows that the ball had quite clearly bounced before hitting boot.

Over 32 Ishant 0-1-0-0-0-0 100-5 - Change of tack from India, as Ishant Sharma gets a run for the first time today. There was some movement for Sreesanth earlier, but the ball is a bit older now and Ishant is straight without being unthreatening. Ryder pulls out to deep backward square leg to take New Zealand to three figures.

Over 31 Harbhajan 1-1-0-1-0-0 99-5 - Williamson looking calm and assured so far, and I must say he certainly has a good temperament. Harbhajan is turning it square out there and New Zealand are nowhere and yet Williamson doesn't look flustered. I suppose he might look at it that he has nothing to lose.

Over 30 Ojha 1-2-0-0-0-0 96-5 - Taylor obviously wasn't happy with that decision but he went about showing it in a good way - a shake of the head with a big, wry smile and a chuckle. Sometimes it's just not your day. In truth it should be remembered that he was spared by Taufel earlier in the day when Ojha had him plumb lbw. That's just the way the game goes sometimes. Kane Williamson off the mark now.

Over 29 Harbhajan 0-0-W-0-0-0 93-5 - WICKET! A poor decision from Nigel Llong but Taylor has to go. It was a classic bat-pad dismissal, caught by the substitute fielder at short leg after the ball had looped up, except the problem was that there was no bat involved. The last thing the Black Caps need right now is bad umpiring decisions, but unfortunately they've had two already this morning.

Over 28 Ojha 1-1-0-0-4-1 93-4 - Just a correction from earlier - it's Guptill rather than McCullum who has been sent in as a runner for Ryder. McCullum has been fine the past few days but did have a niggle at the start of this match so it wouldn't make sense for him to run for an injured man. My bad. Meanwhile, Taylor cashes in on a short delivery, leaning back to play a superb late cut through backward point for four.

Over 27 Harbhajan 0-1-0-0-0-4 86-4 - Harbhajan is coming around the wicket to Ryder now, and thinks he might have trapped him lbw with a pad-bat. Umpire Llong doesn't agree at all. The final delivery is tossed up, and Ryder decides to go through with the shot, driving over wide mid-on for four.

Over 26 Ojha 0-1-0-1-0-1 81-4 - A series of singles for the batsmen, who are doing their best to show that this pitch isn't as full of demons as the three wickets this morning suggest. Still a long way to go for the Kiwis to avoid the innings defeat though - 292 runs in fact.

Over 25 Harbhajan 0-0-4b-0-0-0 78-4 - Dangerous stuff from Ryder, attempting a big drive at a delivery which wasn't full enough and was turning away from him. Fortunately a thick outside edge falls just short of backward point. He then tries to sweep from outside off stump - a bizarre decision - and the extra turn and bounce beats him and Dhoni and runs away for four byes.

Over 24 Ojha 0-0-1-3-0-0 74-4 - Taylor nudges one into the leg side for a single, and then Ryder spots the half-volley outside off stump and lays into it, driving it through extra cover for three. New Zealand look comfortable in an over for the first time today.

Over 23 Harbhajan 0-0-0-0-0-0 70-4 - Two slips and a short leg in place with the ball turning away from Ryder, and he takes a defensive approach. He goes after the final delivery though, and is beaten as another one turns square.

Over 22 Ojha 0-0-2-1-2-2 70-4 - Ryder tries to cut his first ball from Ojha, but the ball rips in to beat the underedge. Need to play straight here, and he does so as he clips through midwicket for a single. Taylor goes hard at one and gets a thick inside edge to fine leg for a couple, then sweeps for two more. He's clearly decided he might as well have a go.

Over 21 Harbhajan 1-0-0-W-0-1 63-4 - Taylor has seen off Sreesanth but the sight of Harbhajan Singh won't be much comfort on this pitch. Taylor sweeps straight away, and the full-blooded shot nails short leg Suresh Raina on the the thigh. Ouch! Raina needs a bit of the magic spray and is good to go. WICKET! Superb take from Raina! Most impressive was that he hadn't ducked, because Hopkins looked to whip the ball through midwicket aggressively, yet Raina at short leg stayed calm and attentive, and then took a one-handed catch to his right as an inside edge rebounded off of pad. Jesse Ryder is the new man in, and this time he's allowed a runner so McCullum is out there with him.

Over 20 Ojha 1-4-0-0-0-1 61-3 - More violence from Taylor who thrashes a sweep shot behind square for four runs. But he's a very lucky boy to survive an lbw appeal two balls later, with Taufel judging that the ball pitched outside leg. I agreed at first, but the replay shows it actually pitched on middle and leg and would have gone straight on to hit middle stump.

Over 19 Sreesanth 4-4-0-0-0-0 55-3 - Taylor's been beaten a few times by Sreesanth and decides the best form of defense is actually attack. That's often his style, and he whips one from off stump over midwicket for four. It came off the toe of the bat but still reached the rope. Just. Then he gets across to cut through cover-point for another boundary with a superb shot. He tries to pull another one from outside the off stump, but is fortunate not to play on or be caught behind because the ball wasn't that short and an inside edge drops just short of Dhoni.

Over 18 Ojha 0-2-0-0-4b-0 47-3 - Sreesanth is bowling well, but the amount of turn on offer is making Ojha the biggest threat by far. Hopkins looks to sweep one delivery that spins from well outside leg stump to bounce wide of off stump. It gets the better of batsman, wicketkeeper and slip and runs away for four byes. Black Caps facing a horrible task here.

Over 17 Sreesanth 0-0-0-0-2b-0 41-3 - Sreesanth bowls an absolute corker, moving away from Taylor as the batsman looks to play at it but then draws his bat inside the line. Sreesanth has a few words for him, and Taylor returns fire with interest to the extent that I'm pretty sure Sreesanth lost that battle. He wins the next battle though, genuinely beating the bat with a beautiful outswinger before having another word to end the over.

Over 16 Ojha W-0-1-0-0-0 39-3 - WICKET! Guptill's gone first ball, out lbw. Simon Taufel had a long think about it before raising the finger as it was quite a curious delivery. Unfortunately the replay confirms that it pitched an inch outside leg stump, but from first viewing you'd never have got that impression for some reason. Guptill pushed forward, was hit on the front pad as the ball turned past the bat, and Hawkeye confirms it would have hit middle stump. The hat-trick ball to Ross Taylor slips down the leg side though, which is disappointing. Taylor sweeps the next ball to get off the mark.

Over 15 Sreesanth 0-0-0-0-0-0 38-2 - Two slips and two gullies in place for Sreesanth, who gets a hint of swing away from the right-hander when he pitches it up. Hopkins leaves a couple, but is then beaten by one that shapes away from him late.

Over 14 Ojha 4-0-0-2-0-W 38-2 - McCullum is going to play his natural game here, and sweeps from off stump through square leg for four. He got well on top of that so it was a safe shot, but Ojha holds the next two back a touch and gets enormous turn to beat McCullum and another attempted sweep. The batsman learns from that though, and uses the turn to angle the ball towards third man for a couple. WICKET! Brilliant bowling, and Ojha claims the key wicket of McCullum. He'd turned most deliveries in the over considerably, but the last one goes straight on and McCullum makes the mistake of going back. There's too much pace in this pitch for that, and the ball rushes on to trp him lbw dead in front.

Over 13 Sreesanth 0-0-4-0-0-0 32-1 - Sreesanth opens from the tother end, and starts with a good length which forces Gareth Hopkins to reach for the ball. Hopkins gets forward nicely to punch one through extra cover with a checked shot, and Dhoni responds by putting in a short cover to see if he'll try it again. He doesn't.

Over 12 Ojha 0-0-0-0-4-0 28-1 - A little surprising to see Pragyan Ojha open the bowling today, but he was getting the ball to turn yesterday and immediately Brendon McCullum uses his feet, tries to clip to the leg side but gets a leading edge. With four men around the bat there's a real danger. Except when Ojha drops short, in which case McCullum has more time to read the turn. One delivery is short and wide, and put away through point by McCullum.

Pitch report Ravi Shastri is out in the middle to tell us in a loud voice that it's going to be a tough day for the Kiwis. He says on the surface of it it still looks like a good pitch, but a closer inspection shows that the cracks are starting to open up and we've already seen variable bounce and turn. Simon Doull adds that the pitch has also developed a greener tinge to it, so it sounds like a developing nightmare all told. I don't think it's quite as bad as that, but certainly there's a fair bit for the bowlers to work with.

Morning I have a sneaky suspicion New Zealand might fold today. I hope I'm wrong but so often at the end of a tough series the weaker teams will finally crack, and New Zealand have had to fight hard throughout the three Test matches. They've taken a battering in this one despite winning the toss, and they need another 350 runs to make India bat again with nine wickets in hand. I'm Tristan Holme and I'll be taking you through the first session.

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