New Zealand 279 (Vettori 118, Ryder 102, Sharma 4-73) v
India 29-01st Test, Hamilton, day one: stumps
A maiden Test century from Jesse Ryder and a third by captain Daniel Vettori rescued New Zealand, enabling them to post 279 on day one of the first Test against India in Hamilton.
Having fallen to 60 for six after India won the toss and bowled, the pair shared 186 for the seventh wicket to get their side back on track before India closed on 29 without loss.
Ryder was the last man to fall for 102, while Vettori's 118 was the only other score greater than Ross Taylor's 18.
Martin Guptill was handed a Test debut by New Zealand and he opened the innings alongside Tim McIntosh but he only lasted 20 balls, scoring 14 runs before giving Rahul Dravid a record-equalling 181st catch when he edged a seaming delivery from Zaheer Khan.
In Khan's next over he had Daniel Flynn well caught by wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for a duck and after the first hour of play, the home side had crawled to 40 for two.
Tim McIntosh was the next to depart and it was another good catch, this time Virender Sehwag taking one low down in the gulley off Ishant Sharma, who was to finish as India's most successful bowler with four for 73.
Sharma struck again soon after when Ross Taylor was dismissed, the first man to go having not been caught behind the wicket, although he was dropped early in his innings by Sehwag in the gulley. He was instead bowled via his pads and two balls later, James Franklin was given out caught behind by Dhoni off the same bowler for the second duck of the innings.
When Munaf Patel had Brendon McCullum (3) caught by VVS Laxman at second slip, New Zealand were 60 for six and in danger of being bowled out before lunch before Ryder and Vettori's superb rearguard.
The pair batted through until tea, adding 101 runs together, Ryder reaching his half-century just one ball before the interval.
Their stand was finally ended when Vettori, who faced 164 balls and hit 14 fours and two sixes, edged Munaf Patel to Dhoni Patel was on a hat-trick when Kyle Mills was bowled first ball but Iain O'Brien (8) survived and went on to edge a four through the slips as everybody waited in earnest to see whether Ryder could reach a maiden century.
He was into the 90s and past his previous best when he pulled Patel to the boundary but when O'Brien was stumped by Dhoni off of Harbhajan Singh, Ryder looked in trouble, marooned at the wrong end with 98 to his name and Chris Martin making his way to the crease.
Somehow, Martin kept his wicket intact for the rest of Harbhajan's over, allowing Ryder to pull Sharma for four at the next opportunity to reach his century in 161 balls with 14 fours. One ball later and it was all over, Ryder trying to hit Sharma over the top but only succeeding in picking out Laxman at mid-on.
India then had time to play out seven overs, Sehwag climbing into both Mills and Martin, scoring five boundaries in all. Sehwag was unbeaten on 22, Gautam Gambhir had six.
India are trying to win their first Test in New Zealand since 1976.
© Cricket World 2009