Impressive innings from Singh and Laxman help salvage a draw on last day of first Test against New Zealand in Ahmedabad.
|Tim McIntosh became the first New Zealand opener to score a century on foreign soil in six years [AFP]|
Left-handed opener Tim McIntosh struck a solid 102 runs to guide New Zealand to 258 for four on the opening day of the second Test against India in Hyderabad.
Jesse Ryder on 22 and Gareth Hopkins on nought were the not out batsmen at the close on Friday, as New Zealand made steady progress through the day after electing to bat on a good batting pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.
India struggled to find breakthroughs with pace bowlers Shantakumaran Sreesanth and Zaheer Khan the only ones to trouble the batsmen.
McIntosh faced 254 deliveries, hitting 10 fours and a six during his second century in 15 tests. He was the first Kiwi opener to hit a century away from home in six years.
McIntosh was out immediately after the second new ball was taken, bowled off an inside edge off Zaheer in the penultimate over of the day.
The 30-year-old from Auckland had earlier offered a half-chance when on 81 as he lofted spinner Harbhajan Singh over mid-on, but the ball was just out of reach of Rahul Dravid.
McIntosh and Martin Guptill, who reached 85, put together a century stand for the second wicket, adding 147 in 203 minutes from 282 balls.
Guptill looked set for a bigger score but was trapped lbw by left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha with a delivery that slanted in. Guptill, who repeatedly struck the ball straight down the ground, hit nine well-timed boundaries and a six off Harbhajan over long-on during his 160-ball knock.
Ross Taylor reached 24, keeping McIntosh company for 54 runs before he nibbled at a delivery way outside the off stump and was caught by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni off Zaheer Khan.
“I think there is more in the pitch for our team,” said India’s bowling consultant Eric Simons. “There is some bounce and carry that our spinners could use and though Harbhajan has not been among the wickets, it is only a matter of time before he comes up with a four- or five-wicket haul.”
Earlier, New Zealand opener Brendon McCullum was caught behind off new-ball bowler Sreesanth on four.
Sreesanth would have had two wickets but for an umpire’s review that saw Guptill recalled to the crease as he was walking back to the pavilion.
Guptill, when on five, edged a delivery to wicketkeeper Dhoni, but umpire Kumar Dharmasena consulted the television umpire, who confirmed Sreesanth had bowled a no-ball.
“We backed ourselves despite an early wicket this morning,” said Guptill. “We thought we got our act right and are aiming to now score around 500 runs.”
New Zealand made three changes from the side that drew the first test: Guptill, Brent Arnel and Tim Southee came in for B.J. Watling, Hamish Bennett and Jeetan Patel.
The opening test of the three-match series ended in a draw at Ahmedabad, and the final match will be held at Nagpur next week.