Laxman & Harbhajan Power India To First-Innings Lead

Laxman & Harbhajan Power India To First-Innings Lead
Laxman & Harbhajan Power India To First-Innings Lead
©REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder (INDIA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

New Zealand 350 (McIntosh 102, Guptill 85) v
India 436-9 (Sehwag 96, Harbhajan Singh 85no)
Second Test, Hyderabad, day three

Half-centuries from VVS Laxman and Harbhajan Singh saw India surge into a first-innings lead over New Zealand on day three of the second Test in Hyderabad.

Resuming on 178 for two, Laxman's 74 and Harbhajan's unbeaten 85 enabled them to close the day on 436 for nine - a lead of 86.

New Zealand started the day strongly when Daniel Vettori had Sachin Tendulkar caught by Ross Taylor for 13 and then Rahul Dravid was trapped in front by Tim Southee for 45.

Laxman then added 52 for the fifth wicket with Suresh Raina (20) before Mahendra Singh Dhoni's dismissal, both men falling to Vettori, gave New Zealand another boost as they reduced India to 336 for seven.

Laxman had already been trapped in front by Chris Martin but Harbhajan carried on from where he left off in Ahmedabad, where he scored a maiden century to save the match, by helping his side add a further 100 runs before stumps.

Typically aggressive, he hit seven fours and five sixes and his effective counter-attack was backed up by Zaheer Khan, who faced 37 balls for seven runs and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, unbeaten on 14 in 47 deliveries at stumps.

Pragyan Ojha failed to score before being run out but New Zealand were left frustrated by a tenth-wicket stand that currently stands at 69 runs.

Vettori's efforts earnt him figures of four for 123 and Southee has three for 95.

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