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Page last updated at 06:26 GMT, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 07:26 UK

NZ draw Test but India win series

Third Test, Wellington (day five):
India 379 & 434-7 dec drew with New Zealand 197 & 281-8
Match scorecard

Mahendra Dhoni
Credit to both the bowlers and the batsmen - we really performed as a team right throughout this tour

India captain Mahendra Dhoni

India clinched their first series win in New Zealand since 1968 after the third Test against the Black Caps ended in a draw in Wellington.

After New Zealand started the final day on 167-4, 450 runs shy of an unlikely win, bad weather at the Basin Reserve prevented India from triumphing.

The rain began early in the afternoon session with the Kiwis on 281-8, and play was called off two hours later.

India take the series 1-0 after their win in Hamilton and the draw in Napier.

"We have achieved something big, we have set a benchmark and the next team will be under pressure to sustain it," said India captain Mahendra. "It will be tougher for the next guys who come here, people will expect you to win.

"Credit to both the bowlers and the batsmen. We really performed as a team right throughout this tour and that is what's important. We didn't rely on a single batsman.

"We got contributions throughout the whole series from everyone, Rahul (Dravid), Sachin (Tendulkar), V.V.S. (Laxman). Everyone contributed so overall I think that was a great effort.

"Whenever it was needed someone contributed and that's great for the morale of the team."

India were on course for another emphatic victory in Wellington after making 379 in their first innings and then bowling the Black Caps out for 197.


And when Dhoni declared their second innings at 434-7 midway through the morning session on day four, New Zealand faced a mammoth run chase.

Ross Taylor was again the top scorer for the Black Caps with 107, while Martin Guptill and James Franklin both scored 49 for the only other scores of note in the second innings.

Indian bowlers Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh were New Zealand's chief tormentors, although Tendulkar's introduction was lucrative with the 'Little Master' taking 2-26 in his six-over spell before lunch.

Taylor and Franklin resumed in windy, overcast conditions when play began half-an-hour early following Monday's early finish.

The pair added 59 to the overnight score to extend their stand to 142, the highest fifth-wicket partnership by New Zealand against India.

Taylor had brought up his fourth Test century with a four past fine leg, but two overs later he was clean bowled by off-spinner Harbhajan to leave New Zealand on 226-5, still needing 391 to win.

Brendon McCullum (6) went shortly afterwards, adjudged to be caught by Dravid via the gloves of keeper Dhoni off Tendulkar, although TV replays appeared to show the ball missing the edge of the bat.

There are some positives but we have to look back and say we were outplayed in two of the three test matches

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori

Tendulkar caused Franklin, who survived an lbw shout by Zaheer early in the day, some problems before he finally had the all-rounder leg-before one run shy of his third Test half-century - having survived for 171 balls.

By lunch the hosts had reached 254-7, still requiring 363 to win. Tim Southee (3) lasted 13 balls before being given out caught behind by Dhoni off Harbhajan, although the tail-ender seemed to hit his pad, not the ball, with his bat.

But with only last man Chris Martin - regarded by many as the worst batsman in Test cricket - left to bat, captain Daniel Vettori and Iain O'Brien held off the Indian bowlers until the rain arrived to earn New Zealand a draw.

"I think to have them 200-6 on the first morning after we took a gamble bowling first was really pleasing and I suppose from then on in it was a bit disappointing that we didn't go on," said Black Caps skipper Daniel Vettori said.

"It was a poor performance in the first innings with the bat but it was good to see a fighting performance from some guys; Ross Taylor and James Franklin today with the bat and I think Chris Martin's bowling throughout the whole series has been a particular highlight.

"There are some positives but we have to look back and say we were outplayed in two of the three test matches."

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see also
India close in on Wellington win
06 Apr 09 |  Cricket
Dravid breaks world catch record
06 Apr 09 |  South Asia
India take control against Kiwis
04 Apr 09 |  Cricket
Late rally gives India the edge
03 Apr 09 |  Cricket
Laxman century earns India draw
30 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Harbhajan spins India to victory
21 Mar 09 |  Cricket
India in New Zealand 2009
23 Mar 09 |  Cricket

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