22 Mar 2009

India win first Test in 33 years in New Zealand

6:59 am on 22 March 2009

The Indian cricketers have easily wrapped up the first Test in Hamilton to record their first Test victory in New Zealand since 1976.

After dismissing New Zealand for 279 runs -- exactly the same score in the Black Caps' second innings as in their first -- India took to the crease needing just 39 runs for victory.

They reached that total in the sixth over with a four from opener Gautam Gambhir.

Earlier the New Zealand cricketers struggled - and barely managed - to avoid an innings defeat.

At tea the Black Caps were 216 for eight, needing another 25 runs to force India to bat again.

Brendon McCullum's stand of 84 in a partnership of 76 with the tailender Ian O'Brien gave the home side some very dim hope but when O'Brien fell to the outstanding Harbhajan Singh, who took five wickets on the day including Daniel Flynn for 67, it was all but over for New Zealand.

Singh's six for 63 wasn't enough to earn him the man of the match honours, which fell to batsman Sachin Tendulkar.

So India lead the three-match series 1-0 with the second Test beginning in Napier on Thursday, March 26th.