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India end 41-yr drought with historic series win in NZ
Posted on: 07-04-2009 , 04:: | DY365 Bureau

Vettori was all praise of Dhoni's men in the presentation ceremony and said, "India outplayed us in this Test. India is one of the top three teams in the world. There isn't much that differentiate Australia, South Africa and India."

The Kiwi skipper asserted had he been in Dhoni's shoes he would have declared earlier.

"If it was us we would have declared earlier because the nature of our attack. India got us out in 65 overs in the first innings. Maybe they thought they could do it again in this inning too."

India won the first Test by 10 wickets and the remaining two matches were drawn.

A century by Ross Taylor - his second in successive Tests - and his record 142-run fifth wicket partnership with James Franklin (49) carried New Zealand to 281 for eight when rain began to fall on Tuesday.

India declared its second innings on Monday at 434 for seven, with an overall lead of 616, and New Zealand were still 335 runs behind when rain hastened the close of play.

Gautam Gambhir was declared Man of the Match.

The hosts lost three wickets - Taylor (107), McCullum (6) and Franklin (49) in the first session.

The final day of the tour began with James Franklin (on 69) and Ross Taylor (on 26) resuming batting in the morning on their overnight total of 167/4. They played well to stick to the crease for the initial overs.

Both the batsmen played cautiously for the first hour to save their wickets on a day when India looked set to register its first Test series win in the Kiwi land after 41 years.

Taylor, who earlier hit a solid 69 following his 151 at Napier, proved to be handy in the crucial Wellington Test as well. He held the fort since Day 4 to play a patient knock to complete 4th Test century of his career in a Harbhajan over.

The offie ended Taylor's (107 runs off 261 balls) resistance with a lovely yorker when he looked rigid enough to push the match for a draw. Brendon McCullum then joined sticky Franklin playing on 38 then.

McCullum, who was gifted a new life by Munaf Patel's missed catch at mid-off, didn't appear to be much confident with the bat when Kiwis were in desperate need of a classy innings by the batsman. Six overs later, he was given out on 6 when he edged Tendulkar to Dravid, but the snickometer suggested otherwise.

Skipper Daniel Vettori, who was expected of a captain's knock, then partnered Franklin holding on to the crease for a pretty long time. The resilient batsman missed his well-deserving 3rd Test half-century by a whisker, knitted 49 runs off 250 balls before Tendulkar caught him plumb to take his second wicket for the day.

Tim Southee was the next player in to form a pair with Vettori at the stroke of the lunch break. Depleted New Zealand were then on 254/7.

The play resumed after the break and two overs later, Harbhajan Singh took another wicket in the form of Southee (3) who edged the spinner to Dhoni. The replay of the same didn't show any sign of the edge though.

Tailender O'Brien was the next man in, lucky enough to survive a catch by Ishant at square leg off Tendulkar. Vettori (15*) and O'Brien (19*) were at the crease when the play was halted by downpour at Basin Reserve Park.

Sachin who couldn't impress with the bat in what was being considered his last innings in New Zealand, but by the end of the series fetched two vital wickets for his team, leaving imprints of his successful tour.

On Monday, India needed just six wickets to register a historic series triumph over New Zealand after tightening the noose on the hapless Kiwis.

The Indians first declared their second innings at 434 for 7 in the morning session by adding 85 quick runs to their overnight tally and then had the Kiwis on the mat to put themselves on the threshold of a 2-0 series triumph.

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