Harbhajan century helps India secure draw
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad
Scorecard:India v New Zealand
Player:Harbhajan Singh, VVS Laxman
Event:New Zealand in India 2010/11

DateLine: 8th November 2010


The opening Test between India and New Zealand at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera ended as a draw . The visitors, chasing 295 to win, had made 22 for one when play was called off.


Earlier, Harbhajan Singh and VVS Laxman helped India save the match. The duo put on a record 163 runs for the seventh wicket before Daniel Vettori struck, giving the visitors their first breakthrough. The home team didn't lose a wicket in the morning session and only two in the post-lunch session. However, with no declaration coming it was palpable that India was playing for a draw rather than forcing a result.


Harbhajan was named the man-of-the-match for his batting efforts in both the innings.


In the morning home team expectedly had a sedate start in the morning, the first four overs yielding just five runs. Harbhajan lived dangerously and fortune was on his side for sure. A boundary off Patel helped Laxman register his 47th Test fifty, his fifth against New Zealand. The innings had not only helped India come out of the woods but also ensured Laxman maintained his impressive fourth innings record. Harbhajan reached his ninth Test fifty, his second of the match, soon after with a couple off Martin.


The new ball was taken in the 81st over. However, it didn't help New Zealand much. Both the batsmen continued piling on the runs, thereby adding to the visitor's cup of woes, their seventh-wicket partnership yielding the home team 163 runs - a record for the wicket against New Zealand.


Laxman was adjudged leg before for a resolute 253-ball 91 was inclusive of nine hits to the fence. Zaheer Khan survived only a ball, before Davis raised his finger again. Daniel Vettori had struck twice in successive balls to give New Zealand some much-needed breakthrough. Harbhajan though managed to reach his maiden Test ton, reaching the landmark with a huge six wide of long-off off Vettori. It was the 100th hundred for India in the second innings.


Harbhajan was dismissed soon after tea. He scored a 193-ball 115, a knock that was inclusive of 11 bounadries and three maximums, before Ross Taylor had him caught by Walting short fine leg to pick up his first Test wicket. Taylor's second came two overs later, when he had S Sreesanth caught behind.


And after 102.4 overs, the home team eventually folded up for 266, having been 15 for five at one stage.


That helped set New Zealand a target of 294 in a maximum of 24 overs. Zaheer Khan struck in the first over in New Zealand's second innings. The left-arm seamer trapped Tim McIntosh leg before. Brendon McCullum and Walting ensured there was no further damage before the match ended to its eventual result an hour before the schedule close of play.