Cricket : Sachin scores 50 th Test Centuary Barrier

A.V.

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please post all news related to cricket here.

thanx,
 
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Blitz

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It’s Coca Cola for SRK's Knight Riders

Shah Rukh Khan’s IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has struck a sponsorship deal with soft drinks major Coca Cola for the forthcoming IPL season.

As part of this new association, KKR will use the company logo as well as promote Coca Cola's brand 'Sprite', revealed Director Joy Bhattacharya.

The deal comes on the heels of PepsiCo terminating its contract with Shah Rukh Khan who doesn’t fit its recently adopted ‘youngistan’ theme. While this comes as a loss for PepsiCo who was looking at a similar deal with KKR, for Coca Cola, it’s just a time to rejoice as it is now associated with the two Khans - Shah Rukh through IPL and Aamir through brand ambassadorship.

Also, though SRK is known for his loyal brand promotions, his new found association with PepsiCo’s rival brand Coca Cola might be his way of getting even with the company! What remains to be seen is if this Cola will be able to bring Aamir and Shahrukh together for an ad campaign or two.
 

A.V.

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Ponting pulls out of IPL

Even before the first ball in the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been bowled, the world's biggest T20 extravaganza has lost one its most famous international stars. Ricky Ponting is set to pull out of the Kolkata Knight Riders team due to Australia's international commitments which wouldn't have allowed him to play more than five-six matches anyway.

While Knight Riders officials said they are yet to hear from the Australia captain officially, other sources confirmed that Ponting has made up his mind to skip this year's competition.

The player is apparently weighed down by excessive workload. But officials of the team co-owned by Shah Rukh Khan didn't seem too worried, saying that they had lined up replacements for Ponting anyway. "Given that we knew he would at best be available for a few matches we had been looking for other players to fill in the gap," said an official.

As things stand now, they will take one from Morne van Wyk, Luke Wright and Chamara Kapugedara. "We are confident of finalising one in the next couple of days," said the team official.

The Sourav Ganguly-led team will miss Umar Gul following the Pakistan government's decision to refuse permission to players to play in India for security reasons. The Knight Riders have already roped in Australian Mark Cameron as Gul's replacement.

This means that foreigners at the disposal of the Knight Riders this season are Chris Gayle (West Indies), Brendon McCullum (New Zealand), Ajantha Mendis, Agnelo Mathews (both Sri Lanka), David Hussey, Brad Hodge, Moises Henriques, Cameron (all four Australia) and Mashrafe Mortaza (Bangladesh). :confused:
 

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Force India's VJM02 Bursts Into Life

Force India's VJM02 Bursts Into Life

The winter has been quiet for Force India, but not any more! Today, Force India's latest creation, the VJM02, was fired up in the factory at Silverstone. This marks the true beginnings of FIF1's campaign in the 2009 F1 championship; the time when its staff will find out how successfully they have turned their dream into tangible reality.
Some good news for the Force India fans; This year will be exciting for most of the teams; can't wait for it to start; between how many F1 fans do we have in this forum?
 

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New Zealand ‘underdog’ in India Tests

New Zealand ‘underdog’ in India Tests

CHRISTCHURCH — New Zealand have drawn on the inside knowledge of former India coach John Wright as they prepare to play the side they regard as the best in the world.

India’s tour of New Zealand starts today with the first of two Twenty20 matches to be followed by five one-day internationals and three Tests.

Wright, the former Kiwi opener who coached India from 2000-2005, has been heavily involved with preparations for the series.

Despite Wright’s tips, and India’s reputation as poor travellers, New Zealand coach Andy Moles insists New Zealand are still the underdogs. “They’ve put that to bed in the past couple of years and did really well in Australia last year. The Indians, I believe, are probably the No1 side in the world at the moment in all facets and we will need to make sure we are at our best in all components of our game,” Moles said.

India have not won a Test series in New Zealand in 41 years, but they arrive on the back of home series victories over Australia and England and a 4-1 one-day away win against Sri Lanka.

New Zealand, on the other hand, squandered a 2-0 one-day lead against Australia to draw the series 2-2 and then lost the Twenty20 by one run.

Moles is demanding more backbone from his team which has been strengthened by the return of the often injured allrounder Jacob Oram, who will play as a specialist batsman.

With the big-hitting Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder as openers, Moles believes New Zealand can hurt any bowling attack, and are capable of out-fielding the Indians as well. But the Kiwi bowling looks a shade light without Kyle Mills, who has an Achilles tendon injury.

When India toured New Zealand six years ago, and faced green wickets, they were humbled 0-2 in the Tests and lost the one-day internationals 2-5.

However, India coach Gary Kirsten said that was a different era and today’s team has the talent to exploit whatever conditions it faces. “We don’t focus on what’s in the past, we worry about what’s happening ahead,” Kirsten told reporters. “We have played 17 games of cricket since September last year and lost one. So we are very happy with our performance.”

But Kirsten does believe his bowlers will need to adapt quickly to the unfamiliar windy conditions, and he has had them bowling into the breeze during practice this week.

Even without master batsman Sachin Tendulkar , India retain the explosive power of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, plus the bowling of Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma.

Regardless of the outcome of the series, New Zealand Cricket already believes it is a winner, thanks to the galaxy of stars in the Indian side. Sapa-AFP
 

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Force India VJM02 revealed early - pictures (2009 F1 cars)

Force India’s VJM02 was due to break cover tomorrow but Anirudh has dug out some early pictures of it on Force India’s official website.

They confirm the impression we got from the Force India calendar earlier this year that the new car replaces the bright red flashes of 2008 with orange and green. More pictures below.
 

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India wants Twenty20 matches postponed

The Indian government wants cricket's IPL Twenty20 tournament in April to be postponed, saying its priority is to provide security for general elections occurring at the same time.

India is already jittery after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai by Islamic gunmen in November and Tuesday's armed attack against the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan.

Up to 14 gunmen took part in the attack which killed six policemen and a driver, and injured members of the Sri Lankan squad on Tuesday.

It deals a further blow to hopes for a big money-spinning cricket season in India, as calls mount for the Premier League to be postponed due to safety concerns.

At stake is a tournament that has generated more than $US900 million in television rights, and tens of millions in advertising, players' fees, merchandising and tickets plus knock-on benefits for the travel and tourism sectors.

Sponsors of the IPL include Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Vodafone, Hero Honda, airline and drinks giant Kingfisher and telecom giant Airtel.

The aftermath of the attack on the cricketers in Lahore has sparked questions over whether big-name stars signed up by the IPL will dare set foot in India because of security worries.

But IPL bosses insist the show must go on - a position that could spark a backlash even among cricket-crazy Indians.

The IPL is due to be played across 10 cities in India from 10 April 10 to 24 May 24. The parliamentary elections will be held in five phases between 16 April and 13 May, with counting of votes on 16 May.
 

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India thrash Pakistan by 10 wkts in World Cup opener

Bowral (Australia), Mar 7 (PTI) Indian women kicked off their World Cup campaign on a resounding note as they spanked arch-rivals Pakistan by 10 wickets in the lung-opener of the quadrennial extravaganza here today.
Electing to bowl, India shot out the Pakistanis for a paltry 57 in 29 overs and then their openers finished the Group B game in 10 overs at the Bradman Oval ground here.

The target of 58 was never enough to test the India batters who achieved the victory in 10 overs in bright sunshine. Anjum Chopra (17) and stumper Anagha Deshpande (26) remained unbeaten to guide India home.

Earlier, Sana Mir (17) and Bismah Maroof (11), apart from the 10 extras, were the only batters to reach the double figures in Pakistan's innings.

The Indian bowlers, spearheaded by captain Jhulan Goswami, bowled to a teasing line and length and made full use of the early morning conditions.

While Goswami picked up a wicket by conceding 18 runs, her new ball partner and Player of the Match Rumeli Dhar finished with figures of 8-5-7-3.

Vice-captain Amita Sharma and Priyanka Roy chipped in with 2 for 9 and 2 for 13 respectively.

"It was an important victory for us as it was World Cup opener and against Pakistan. I am glad we have started the tournament on a winning note and I look forward to improving our performance," Jhulan said after the match. PTI

http://www.ptinews.com/pti\ptisite.nsf/0/697C2D42BD7646CB652575720041C93C?OpenDocument
 

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Govt sanctions Rs 80 crore for Commonwealth Games security

8 Mar 2009, 0959 hrs IST, PTI


New Delhi, Mar 8 : To ensure foolproof security and prevent any Lahore-like attack on sportsmen during the Commonwealth Games, the Centre has sanctioned nearly Rs 80 crore to Delhi Police to upgrade its inventory and equipment.

"A total of Rs 78.26 crore has been sanctioned to Delhi Police to procure additional security equipment like X-ray scanners, Door Frame Metal Detectors, Hand Held Metal Detectors, vehicles, communication equipment, specifically for Commonwealth Games 2010," a Home Ministry official said.

An Empowered Security Committee headed by Union Home Secretary and a Commonwealth Games Security Review Committee headed by Additional Secretary (Centre-State) have been constituted in the Home Ministry to review the security arrangements for the games.

"The two Committees will hold meetings from time to time to review security arrangements at construction sites as part of security vetting of construction plans," the official said.

The steps become significant considering the attack by terrorists on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore on March 3, which killed six policemen and injured seven players and officials. In a similar incident, during the 1972 Munich Olympics, terrorists had killed eleven Israeli athletes and coaches and one police officer.


http://www.samaylive.com/news/govt-sanctions-rs-80-crore-for-commonwealth-games-security/612697.html
 

EnlightenedMonk

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Boss... we just won against the Kiwis.... :drink::drink::drink::drink::drink::drink::drink::drink::drink::drink:
 

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Sehwag's record century wins India the series

Virendwer Sehwag's record century ensured India sealed the ODI series with a game to play in Hamilton today.

The opener reached the three-figure mark in just 60 balls, making it the fastest century by an Indian.

With rain affecting the match at several stages, the target was always being revised by the Duckworth/Lewis Method but it really made no difference to Sehwag's strategy as India were always very comfortable ahead of the revised required rate.

In the end, India were declared winners by 84 runs when they another shower stopped play with the visitors 201 for no loss from 23.3 overs. At that stage, the revised target was 220 runs from 36 overs. Sehwag was on 125 off 74 balls and Gautam Gambhi giving him good company with a 67-ball 63.

With Sachin Tendulkar nursing an injury, Gambhir opened the innings with Sehwag was played trhe perfect foil.

Earlier, Hamilton: New Zealand set India a 263-run target in 43 overs, according to the Duckworth-Lewis System in the rain-affected fourth One-day International at the Seddon Park here Wednesday.

New Zealand made 270 for the loss of five wickets in 47 overs. Brendon McCullum was the top scorer with 77 while Peter McGlashan remained not out on 56.

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori won the toss and decided to bat in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) against India here at Seddon Park Wednesday.

While India made two changes from the side that won the high-scoring third ODI at Wellington by 58 runs, New Zealand line-up shows three changes.

India are playing without their star batsman and architect of the Wellington victory Sachin Tendulkar, who dropped out with a stomach injury sustained in the match, and Rohit Sharma comes in for him.

The other change is a fit Ishant Sharma returning to the side replacing Munaf Patel. New Zealand were also forced a change due to injury as Ian Butler makes way for Even Thompson to make his ODI debut.

Vettori, who missed the last match for the birth of his first child, replaces off-spinner Jeetan Patel, while Iain O'Brien returns to the side in place of Tim Southee who has been dropped from the squad after going for plenty at Wellington.

India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said after the toss that he was unsure what to expect from New Zealand who traditionally liked to chase targets.

"It will be tricky for New Zealand because they don't know what target to set. I should be interesting to see how they bat first," Dhoni said.

Vettori said he wanted to set a target for a change after failing to chase in the earlier games.

India lead the five-match series 2-0 after winning at Napier and Christchurch. The second match in Wellington was washed out -- the final game is in Auckland on Saturday.

No Indian team has won an ODI series in New Zealand
 

EnlightenedMonk

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An unassailable lead in the series... 3-0 up with one match to go...

Can we make it 4-0 and a virtual whitewash ??? The Kiwis have their backs to the wall !!!:D:D:D:D
 

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4-0 is possible as Indian team is better than the Kiwis; hope we will whitewash the whole series. :drink:

Between can't leave this space with out commenting on Sehwag; man he beat the crap out of Kiwi bowlers
 

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Finally something to cheer for the team Kiwis

New Zealand salvage pride by beating India in final ODI

New Zealand chased down the meagre target in just 23.2 overs after Jesse Ryder (63) gave them a flying start and Martin Guptill (57 not out) stayed till the end to see the side through in what turned out to be a one-sided contest at the Eden Park.


India's winning streak finally snapped on Saturday as New Zealand cruised to an eight-wicket consolation win in the final cricket one-dayer to deny the visitors a clean sweep of the ODI series.

India's awe-inspiring batting order witnessed a rare collapse and the visitors were skittled out for a paltry 149 runs in 36.3 overs and the score could have been embarrassing but for Virender Sehwag (40) and Rohit Sharma (43 not out).

New Zealand chased down the meagre target in just 23.2 overs after Jesse Ryder (63) gave them a flying start and Martin Guptill (57 not out) stayed till the end to see the side through in what turned out to be a one-sided contest at the Eden Park.

It turned out to be a memorable outing for Jesse Ryder who also scalped three wickets for 29 runs in his nine overs.

The Indians, who had already clinched the series, had to be content with a 3-1 scoreline with the Kiwis restoring some pride by convincingly winning the last game.

Both the teams would renew their rivalry in a three-match Test series starting March 18.

New Zealand's victory, however, was marred by an ugly spat between Ryder and Ishant Sharma, the Delhi paceman triggering it off when the robust Kiwi smashed the ball with all his might into the stands.

His pride hurt, Ishant walked down the aisle and muttered and gestured angrily at Ryder. The left-hander responded with another six over mid-wicket, which incensed the sinewy fast bowler further. There was exchange at words at the square and umpire Rudi Koertzen warned Ishant for his on-field misconduct.

Ryder was to rub it in when he hoisted the speedster deep into the stands at long-leg, bringing up his fifty with that disdainful pull. However, Ishant, who conceded 63 runs in 7.2 overs, was to have the last laugh, castling the Kiwi opener off an inside edge.

But by then, Ryder had lifted the Kiwi spirits, suggesting that it would no longer be a lark in the park for the tourists in the Tests series.

Martin Guptill celebrated his call to the Test squad with an electrifying 50

It was New Zealand all the way at the Eden. Invited to bowl by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, they scythed through the mighty Indian batting, which crumbled like a pile of stacked bricks. The Kiwis used the cold and windy conditions to great advantage, as Kyle Mills and Iain O'Brien seamed the ball disconcertingly.

Unable to break free from the seamers' clutches, Gambhir (5) distantly wafted his willow at Mills for Peter McGlashan to complete a regulation catch.

Suresh Raina (8) too was all at sea against the seamers, struggling to put bat to ball, exposing the Indian batsmen's fallibility against the swinging, seaming ball. After pondering around for 19 balls, Raina miscued a Jacob Oram delivery to see Scott Styris bring off a stunning catch at mid-off.

Sehwag, reprieved by Styris at first slip off O'Brien, didn't last long, miscuing a pull off Oram to offer a soft catch to McCullum at point. He made 40 off 27 balls, including three fours and three sixes.

With their nemesis back in the hut, the Blackcaps moved in like impoverished sharks to gobble the rest of the Indian batting. Yuvraj Singh (11), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (9) and Yusuf Pathan (0) fell in a heap as India plummeted to a miserable 111 for 6. The trio fell to the gentle pace off Jesse Ryder, who finished with three for 29 from his nine accurate overs.

Imprudent running between wickets cost India the scalps of Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan, both falling victims to Rohit Sharma's ill-advised calls. The end came when Ishant was snapped up by Ross Taylor at first slip off O'Brien.
–ball 57 not out, taking New Zealand home in the company of Ross Taylor (28 not out).If the Kiwis pacemen had been haplessly butchered in the previous games, they had Sehwag and Gambhir in a state of despair, repeatedly beating them with balls which slanted awy from their bat.
 

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New, improved Force India want to make a point

NEW DELHI (AFP) – A refurbished Force India begins the new Formula One season this month determined to clock their first points and prove they are not there just to make up the numbers.

The Silverstone-based team made an unhappy debut last year when it not only failed to win a single point, but Adrian Sutil completed just seven of the 18 races and fellow-driver Giancarlo Fisichella crashed out in seven.

Flamboyant Indian beer-to-airline tycoon Vijay Mallya, who raised the team after buying out Spyker in October 2007 with Dutch businessman Michiel Mol, will not tolerate another failure.

"We are not expected to win races, but we certainly want to win points and ensure we do not finish at the bottom of the heap," Mallya told Indian media ahead of the Australian Grand Prix on March 29.

"The time for making excuses is over."

A desperate Mallya spent the off-season attempting to revitalise Force India with new technical help, new personnel at the top and even a brand new livery.

He dumped the Ferrari engines used last year and tied up with McLaren-Mercedes who will supply engines, gearboxes, hydraulics and Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems for the new VJM02 chassis.

He also showed the door to team principal Colin Kolles and chief technology officer Mike Gascoyne and appointed James Key as technical director.

The car's livery for the new season will be the green, white and orange of the Indian national colours in a show of patriotism to attract a few more million eyeballs to the sport.

However, both Fisichella and Sutil were retained as drivers and Mallya clearly spelt out what he expected from the team during the season.

"I would like to see a strong start, rising to points mid-season and a definite improvement in qualifying," he said in a statement. "Regular points finishes should be the aim.

"It is in everyone's interest for Formula One to have competition and more teams."

Mallya, who picked up England cricket star Kevin Pietersen for a record 1.55 million dollars in February to play for his Bangalore Royal Challengers side in the Indian Premier League, said Force India was not affected by the global economic meltdown.

"Force India is a smaller team with a much smaller budget than the big boys, and so it is probably relatively easier for us to manage under these circumstances," he said.

Sutil was confident of doing well this year after testing the new car ahead of the season-opener.

"I feel a lot more confident about the car now," he said. "We know we have a lot of work to do, but we now have a good idea of how the car is behaving.

"I?m looking forward to Melbourne now."

India hopes to host a Grand Prix in 2011 at a yet-to-be-built track on the outskirts of New Delhi, but the absence of a local driver in the team continues to irk the country's racing fans.

Mallya, however, defended his decision to keep the likes of Narain Karthikeyan, who raced for Jordon in 2005, out for the time being.

"Much has been made of our decision not to employ an Indian driver, but it was my feeling that, although there is great talent out there, it is not right for Force India at the current time," said Mallya.

"Of course at some point, from a patriotic point of view, I would love to see an Indian driver driving an Indian car.

"I have always said that with 1.2 billion people there must be a Lewis Hamilton in there somewhere. We will keep our eyes peeled and if, or when, the time is right, you'll see it happen."
Hope to see Force India making some points in this season :drink:
 

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India beat Black Caps

Harbhajan Singh took six wickets to guide India to a 10-wicket victory over New Zealand on the fourth day of the first test in Hamilton.

Sachin Tendulkar's 160 run stand had put the visitors in a strong position yesterday as they finished their first innings with 520 runs for a 241 run lead.

A defiant ninth-wicket partnership between Brendon McCullum and Iain O'Brien delayed the inevitable as their 76-run stand pushed the hosts to 279 and forced India to bat again but needing just just 39 for victory. Gautam Gambhir, who was 30 not out and Rahul Dravid (eight) then swiftly wrapped up the win in 5.2 overs.

It marked the first victory for India's in the country for 33 years and means they lead the three-match series 1-0.

After the damage done by Tendulkar yesterday, Harbhajan proved to be New Zealand's chief tormentor today as he took six for 63 from 28 overs. The 28-year-old dismissed Martin Guptil before stumps yesterday and then Jesse Ryder this morning before taking three more scalps after lunch and then removing Iain O'Brien in the final session.

The hosts had resumed this morning on 75 for three with Daniel Flynn on 24 alongside Ross Taylor. The two had made a solid start before Taylor fell for just four when he slashed Munaf Patel's delivery straight to Virender Sehwag at gully.

Ryder came in looking to impose himself immediately as he hit a four off the second ball before hitting another four and six off Zaheer Khan while Flynn reached his third test half century from 118 balls. But Ryder was trapped lbw by Harbhajan in the 52nd over after an innings of 21 off 27 balls leaving the hosts with McCullum and captain Daniel Vettori as their recognised batsmen for the afternoon session.

All-rounder James Franklin was out for 14 when he ballooned Harbhajan's delivery towards Munaf at point to make the easy catch. Flynn (67) was the next to fall victim to Harbahajn when he saw his valiant contribution brought to an end soon after, getting a thin inside edge onto the pad allowing Gautam Gambhir to make the simple catch.

That brought McCullum and Vettori together at the crease and they battled for an eight-wicket stand of 38 until the latter's inside edge onto the pad was picked off by MS Dhoni, bringing an end to the New Zealand captain's innings of 21 with the hosts 199 for eight. McCullum then offered a stubborn resistance alongside O'Brien and the pair set about erasing India's lead and forcing them to bat again to seal the win.

That resistance ended when O'Brien (14) was caught by VVS Laxman from Harbhajan's delivery before McCullum's wicket fell for 84 soon after when he got a thick top edge to Laxman at short fine-leg.
 

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Gautam Gambhir's marathon stay secures draw for India against the odds

Gautam Gambhir batted for nearly 11 hours to reach 137 and VVS Laxman made a stylish 124 not out as India reached 476 for four to draw the second Test against New Zealand, consolidating a 1-0 series lead.

Gambhir's innings secured the draw for India, sharing partnerships of 133 for the second wicket with Rahul Dravid (62), 97 with Sachin Tendulkar (64) and 96 with Laxman. He was out in the 160th over of the innings, at 356-4, having made the match safe for the Indian lineup which was forced to follow on 314 runs behind New Zealand on the first innings.

Laxman's 14th Test century and his unbroken 120-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Yuvraj Singh (54 not out) allowed India to build a 162-run lead before their declaration ended the match an hour before scheduled stumps.

Virender Sehwag, captaining India in place of Mahendra Singh Dhoni who missed the match with a back injury, praised Gambhir's stoic contribution. "I think he's developing his game really well," Sehwag said. "He's playing some good cricket and he's contributing well in all forms of the game. I think he did fantastically well."

Sehwag said he had no doubt India had the batting quality to survive. "We were very strong," he said. "We knew we had players who could bat a couple of days‚Laxman, Dravid, Gautam, Sachin, they can bat for two days. The dressing room atmosphere was fantastic."

India were all out for 305 in their first innings, replying to New Zealand's 619-9 declared, allowing New Zealand to enforce the follow on with more than two days of the match remaining. Gambhir's marathon stay at the crease allowed India to erase the deficit shortly after tea today while Laxman and Yuvraj guided India to complete safety, a declaration and a draw.
 

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India wins Test Series in New Zealand after 41 years

NDTV.com reports that India wins Test Series in New Zealand after 41 years.

The link and the Report from NDTV.com follows herewith:

http://cricket.ndtv.com/cricket/ndtvcricket/storypage/ndtv/id/spoen20090089956/story.html


India end 41-yr drought with historic series win in NZ
CricketNDTV.com
11:35 IST, Tuesday, April 07, 2009 (New Delhi)
Print | Comments: Read | Post A+ A-

India claimed their first Test series victory in New Zealand since 1968 after rain forced the third and final test at the Basin Reserve to end in a draw on Tuesday.

Set an improbable 617 to win in less than two days, the Kiwis had managed to score 281 runs for the loss of eight wickets when play was called off due to rain.

Kiwi captain Daniel Vettori was all praise for MS Dhoni's men at 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 differentiates Australia, South Africa and India."

Vettori added that if had been in Dhoni's shoes he would have declared earlier.

"If it were us we would declare earlier because of 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 in Hamilton by 10 wickets, with the second Test at McLean Park ending in a draw after India batted for the final two days to save the game.

Gautam Gambhir was declared Man of the Match and Man of the Series for his brilliant show.

For the hosts, Ross Taylor topscored for New Zealand with 107. It was his fourth Test century and second in successive Tests after he scored 151 in the drawn second Test in Napier.

Taylor struck a record 142-run fifth wicket partnership with James Franklin (49).

India had 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.

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

New Zealand began the final day's play on the overnight total of 167/4 with James Franklin on 69 and Ross Taylor on 26. Both the batsmen played cautiously in the first hour to save their wickets on a day when India looked set to win.

But spinner Harbhajan Singh ended Taylor's (107 runs off 261 balls) resistance with a lovely delivery when he looked rigid enough to push the match for a draw. Brendon McCullum then joined Franklin who was playing on 38.

McCullum who got a new life when Munaf Patel missed a catch at mid-off, didn't appear to be much confident with the bat when the 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.

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

Tim Southee was the next player in. Depleted New Zealand were on 254/7.

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.

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

Sachin couldn't impress with the bat in what was being considered his last innings in New Zealand but bagged two vital wickets today.
 

Pintu

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Under Captaincy of MS Dhoni , the Indian Cricket team has played 7 Tests, won 5 , lost 0, and drawn 2.
 

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