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Harbhajan six gives India historic.
Posted on: 21-03-2009 , 04:: | DY365 Bureau

Harbhajan's 6-63 wizardry, following an iconic 160 by Sachin Tendulkar, formed the cornerstone of India's first Test success in New Zealand since 1976.
They wrapped the game up with more than a day to spare after New Zealand were all out in their second innings for 279, and India knocked off the required 39 runs in 5.2 overs.
Brendon McCullum kept the Test alive longer than expected with a fighting 84 at the New Zealand tail, but it had been a lopsided match from day one when the hosts' top order crashed to 60-6 on a benign wicket.
That highlighted the huge gulf in Test experience between the sides where India's top six batsmen boast a combined 502 Tests between them, compared to 54 for New Zealand.
The hosts went into the fourth day at 75-3, fighting for survival after India had posted 520 in their first innings for a 241 run lead.
On a pitch which offered minimal turn, Harbhajan had India on the verge of victory midway through the middle session when New Zealand were seven for 161.
However, McCullum had other ideas, delaying the inevitable with a 38-run partnership with Daniel Vettori for the eighth wicket and 76 with Iain O'Brien for the ninth.
In doing so he ensured India would have to bat again and spared New Zealand the embarrassment of an innings defeat.
After the New Zealand recognised batsmen had failed in the first innings on a benign wicket, they needed to produce substantial performances in their second turn at bat.
But only 23-year-old Daniel Flynn offered any serious resistance, atoning in some way for his earlier dropping of Tendulkar when the Indian master batsman was 13 runs into what became 160.
Brought to the crease after Tim McIntosh fell on the third ball of the innings, Flynn stood defiant in the middle for nearly five hours and faced 183 deliveries for his 67.
He survived one chance on 55 when dropped by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni off Harbhajan.
But the relief was short-lived as he only added 12 runs before the wily spinner had the final say with a bat-pad catch to Gautam Gambhir nine overs after lunch.
New Zealand had lost the wickets of Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder before lunch.
Taylor laboured for an hour to reach four when he ran out of patience and slashed at a short, rising delivery from Munaf Patel and was caught in the gully by Virender Sehwag.
First innings centurion Ryder attempted to knock the confidence out of the Indians, belting a six and a four off a Zaheer Kahn over.
This only hastened the introduction of spin, and the arrival of Harbhajan hastened the fall of wickets.
In his second over Harbhajan had Ryder trapped leg before wicket for 21 and he followed with the dismissals of Franklin (14), Flynn, Vettori (21) and O'Brien (14).
It was the 23rd time the 28-year-old off-spinner had claimed a five-wicket bag.
But it was Yuvraj Singh who ended the New Zealand innings with a quicker ball to McCullum which was top-edged to VVS Laxman at short fine-leg and his defiant 168-minute stand was over.
Gambhir, not out 30, and Rahul Dravid with eight then wasted no time wrapping up the match.
 
 

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