India vs New Zealand
A bit disappointing really, because throughout the Test there hasn't been enough in the pitch for the bowlers. There were a few moments when it looked like we might get a result - after the Kiwis collapsed on day two, when they reduced India to 367 for nine and then when Ryder got out yesterday evening - but in the end it's a comfortable draw and the series heads to Nagpur all square after two matches. India will lose a ranking point even if they win there, and the Black Caps will be pleased with the way they've matched the hosts so far. The third Test begins on Saturday, so do join us then for over-by-over coverage. Until then, cheers.
Over 17 Guptill 0-0-0-0-0-1
68-0 - Sehwag declines a couple of singles - and odd decision perhaps. I guess he had his fifty and figured he'd just bat out the final over of the game, although then he came down the track to blitz the final delivery back past the bowler for a single. And it is the final delivery, as Sehwag extends his hand and begins to shake the opposition's.
Over 16 Taylor 0-4-0-0-1-0
67-0 - Sehwag goes to fifty 45 balls, 6x4s, 1x6) with a slashed drive over extra cover. It's just been a freebie really. An average inflater. Strange game this cricket business - we play on even when it's pointless. That applies to dead rubbers in ODI and Test series. Anyway, fair play to Sehwag for taking his usual aggressive and entertaining approach.
Over 15 Guptill 4-0-4-1-1-1
62-0 - Won't be long until we call it quits, so Sehwag figures he'd better make the most of this and hammers a full delivery over mid-off for four. Then he comes down the pitch and thrashes one back past Guptill, with the ball nearly taking the bowler's head off on its way to the boundary. Don't think we'll have more than two more overs.
Over 14 Taylor 0-2-1-0-0-0
51-0 - To avoid bowling full tosses, Taylor plays it safe and bowls a couple of half-trackers. Sehwag pushes them out to the off side for a total of three runs. Taylor comes around the wicket to Gambhir, who's happy to block out the straighter ones.
Over 13 Guptill 4-1-0-1-1-1
48-0 - This is almost painful to watch. Taylor and Guptill are bowling such rubbish that a club cricketer would be ashamed. Another knee-high full toss outside leg stump is just hlped away fine once again for Sehwag, who must feel like Christmas has come early.
Over 12 Taylor 0-1-4-0-1-0
41-0 - Taylor's punishment for dropping that catch? He has to bowl to Sehwag. He bowls some real dross as well - a leg-side full toss is helped down to the fine leg boundary by Viru, who then strokes a straighter full toss down the ground for one.
Over 11 Guptill 3-1-0-6-0-0
35-0 - Dropped! Taylor puts Sehwag down at slip. Guptill came around the wicket to force that angle, and Sehwag went hard with a back-drive and got a solid edge. It flew quite quickly to Taylor but he still should have taken that. Sehwag gets three runs as the ball goes down to third man, then looks to make up for that chance by dancing down the track to pummel Guptill back over his head for six. Brutal.
Over 10 Arnel 4-0-0-0-1-0
25-0 - Genuine edge from Sehwag, but it flies safely past second slip for four. Probably would have bounced just in front of third slip had there been one. A single gives Gambhir strike, and though Arnel comes around the wicket he still can't force the left-hander to play.
Over 9 Guptill 0-1-0-1-1-0
20-0 - Martin Guptill is thrown the ball and asked to roll his arm over in just the ninth over as the match peters out with a whimper. Neither batsman is feeling over-adventurous and who can blame them - this is merely batting practice, with an opportunity of a not out to help the average a touch.
Over 8 Arnel 0-0-0-0-0-0
17-0 - Gambhir's ambitions don't extend beyond occupation of the crease as he feels his way back into form, and he's happy to leave plenty of deliveries. Arnel comes around the wicket to force him to play, and has a muffled appeal for lbw turned down because there was an inside edge. Was probably heading down leg anyway. Maiden.
Over 7 Southee 1-0-0-0-0-
17-0 - Sehwag cuts out to deep point for a single, and Gambhir defends until Southee comes around the wicket and bowls at his hips. Then he rides one down to fine leg for a single to keep the strike for the next over. We may have as little as half an hour until the handshake.
Over 6 Arnel 1-0-0-0-0-0
15-0 - Dropped? Not quite. There's a man at short square leg - just in front of square actually - and Arnel forces Sehwag to fend towards him with a short ball. Williamson made his way in before diving, but the ball just died on him and bounced just short. So close for New Zealand. Meanwhile, over in Dubai, Jacques Kallis has just dropped Younis Khan. It's the third Proteas drop of the day, and it looks very much like they will draw the match as a result. They do have the new ball though so they still have a chance.
Over 5 Southee 0-1-0-0-0-0
14-0 - There's a man out on the point fence for Sehwag, which is generally the case from the off these days, and Viru punches out to that man for a single. Gambhir is just looking to spend some time in the middle as he tries to get back into form, and leaves several deliveries as he sees out the remainder of the over.
Over 4 Arnel 0-0-2-0-0-0
13-0 - Glorious shot from Gambhir, who leans into a punch to send the ball racing through the covers. He's hitting to the longer boundary though so he doesn't get four, and instead has to settle for two. We're basically just going through the motions here, with neither side chasing victory.
Over 3 Southee 0-2-0-0-0-0
11-0 - Southee is getting some swing away from the right-hander, but Sehwag is undeterred. He uses his awesome hand-eye coordination and just stands and delivers a booming drive. It's straight to extra cover, but with such force that the fielder can only half stop it and so Sehwag gets a couple.
Over 2 Arnel 1-2-0-0-0-0
9-0 - Presumably New Zealand have decided to rest Chris Martin, because Brent Arnel shares the new ball. It's good practice for Arnel, who bowls too straight to begin with, allowing Sehwag to flick to fine leg and Gambhir to turn through square leg for a couple. Arnel bowls a bit wider to Gambhir, who leaves diligently.
Over 1 Southee 0-2-3-0-0-1
6-0 - Tim Southee opens the bowling to Gautam Gambhir who hasn't scored a second-innings run in three Tests. He breaks that trend with a flick through square leg for two, but then very nearly clips to Kane Williamson at midwicket. Instead it's just wide, and Gambhir picks up another three runs.
Very gracious of New Zealand, who have declared during the tea interval. So India need 327 runs to win in 29 overs. Not going to happen, but we can have an hour of entertainment and frivolity before packing the bags and heading to Nagpur.
Tea, Day Five
New Zealand head into the break on 448 for eight, 326 runs in the lead. It has been a batting job well done from the tourists, namely McCullum and, to an extent, Williamson. The duo staved off the threat of early wickets before leaving Vettori and now Hopkins the same. India have been hampered by a pretty dull track and the absence of crocked Zaheer from their attack. The third and final session should be a shorter one, as the captains agree to shake hands on the back of the inevitable draw.
- 12th - 16th Nov 2010
- Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Hyderabad
- S J A Taufel and H D P K Dharmasena