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Harbhajan spins India to victory

First Test, Hamilton:
India 520 & 39-0 bt New Zealand 279 & 279 by 10 wkts
Match scorecard

Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan ended with second innings figures of 6-63

India recorded their first win in New Zealand in 33 years as a six-wicket haul from Harbhajan Singh spun them to a ten-wicket victory in the first Test.

Starting the day on 75-3, the Black Caps lost Ross Taylor (4) and Jesse Ryder (21) before lunch.

Harbhajan took the next four wickets as New Zealand posted 279, thanks largely to 84 from Brendon McCullum.

Needing only 39 to wrap up the win, Gautam Gambhir (30 not out) and Rahul Dravid (8 not out) saw India home.

"It was a very special win because of a couple of players. Sachin Tendulkar getting a big hundred and Harbhajan getting his five wickets," said Indian captain Mahendra Dhoni.

"Harbhajan proved a point why he is among the best and got us important wickets at the right time."

A disappointed New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori admitted his side had been outplayed.

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"In every aspect India showed us how to do it in this Test match," he said.

With India having set 520 in their first innings, New Zealand's late slump to 75-3 on day three of this first Test in Hamilton reflected badly on the home side.

However, they set about attempting to post a competitive second innings chase for the tourists in positive fashion with 23-year-old opener Daniel Flynn taking it to the Indian attack on his way to his third Test 50.

There was scant stability at the other end though as firstly Taylor slashed a Manuf Patel delivery to Verender Sehwag at gully and Ryder was plumb lbw to a straightening Harbhajan ball before Flynn himself was caught at short-leg by Ghambir off Harbhajan again for 67.

Vettori became the spinner's fifth victim of the innings when he edged to Dhoni, and Iain O'Brien his sixth, caught off bat and pad at silly point by VVS Laxman.

Both had offered sturdy support to McCullum, who marshalled the tail on his way to an impressive 84 before going for one shot too many and top-edging a Yuvray Singh delivery to Laxman at short fine-leg to be last man out.

In a change to their first innings order, India opened up with Dravid in place of Sehwag but it was academic as he and Gambhir knocked off the meagre total with ease.

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see also
Tendulkar ton puts India on top
20 Mar 09 |  Cricket
India maintain advantage over NZ
19 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Sehwag stars as India romp to win
11 Mar 09 |  New Zealand
India win rain-affected one-dayer
03 Mar 09 |  International Teams
India in New Zealand 2009
15 Jan 09 |  Cricket


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