Rain forces draw but India take home the series
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:New Zealand v India
Player:Harbhajan Singh, SR Tendulkar, LRPL Taylor
Event:India in New Zealand 2008/09

DateLine: 7th April 2009


Though denied a victory in the third and final Test at Basin Reserve in Wellington by rain, India registered a historic 1-0 series victory against New Zealand on Tuesday, a feat last accomplished by Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi's team in 1967-68. The third Test ended in a draw due to rain and that meant that India won the series 1-0. India won the first Test in Hamilton by 10 wickets and drew the second Test in Napier. New Zealand were 281/8 in their second innings, in pursuit of 617, with captain Daniel Vettori (15) and Iain O'Brien (19) at the crease when rain played spoilsport to deny India their first Test win in Wellington in 34 years.


New Zealand had an almost impossible task at hand as only two teams, England and the West Indies, have been able to escape with a draw after being set a target of over 600 runs. India were 2 wickets away from a historic series victory when rain stopped play. Harbhajan Singh dismissed Tim Southee in the second over after lunch to reduce New Zealand to 258/8 in their second innings, in pursuit of a mammoth victory target of 617.


The day's play started with Taylor and Franklin resuming the New Zealand second innings at 167/4. Taylor led the Kiwi resistance with his fourth century, hit 16 fours in his 107-run knock and added 142 runs with James Franklin for the fifth wicket. Harbhajan Singh clean bowled centurion Ross Taylor with a superb delivery to reduce New Zealand to 226/5. Harbhajan beat Taylor in the flight, with a delivery that went away in the drift and then spun back in after pitching to hit the off and middle stump. Tendulkar then got into act as he drew McCullum (6) into the shot with a flighted delivery, who went for it but just missed it hitting the ground with his bat, the ball spun after pitching, hit Mahendra Singh Dhoni's gloves and went to first slip where Rahul Dravid completed the catch.


Tendulkar continued to bamboozle the Kiwis with his leg breaks, top spinners and googlies. Tendulkar got his second wicket when Franklin went on the back foot, the ball came back in and hit his pads plumb in front. Tendulkar was so sure of the dismissal that he was celebrating even before appealing. Harbhajan took his fourth wicket after lunch when Southee (3) edged a straighter delivery to captain and wicket keeper Dhoni. With the tailenders in it looked like India would wrap up the match. O'Brien spooned a catch to Sharma at square leg off Tendulkar but to the horror of the bowler he dropped the catch. That proved crucial as The pair of Vettori and O'Brien provided defiance to the Indian bowlers for three crucial overs as the heaven opened to condemn the match towards draw.





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