McIntosh, Guptill steer New Zealand to 258/4 on day one

Hyderabad, Nov 12 (IANS) Tim McIntosh stroked a patient century to guide New Zealand to 258 for four on the first day of the second cricket Test against India here Friday.

McIntosh scored 102 off 254 balls, his second Test century, with the help of 10 fours and one six, before Zaheer Khan removed him (2-41) an over before stumps. Jesse Ryder (22) and Gareth Hopkins (0) saw the team to the end.

McIntosh and Martin Guptill (85) were involved in a 147-run stand for the second wicket after the early loss of Brendon McCullum (4), who was caught by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni off S. Sreesanth (1-60).

Guptill (85), who survived a dropped chance and was once caught off a no-ball in the morning session, was finally dismissed lbw by Pragyan Ojha before tea. The right-handed batsman hit nine fours and one six in his 160-ball knock.

In the morning session, the New Zealand openers survived a probing spell of fast bowling from Sreesanth after Daniel Vettori decided to take first strike on a track that offered bounce and movement.

The Kerala speedster extracted appreciable swing, helped by overcast conditions. McIntosh and Guptill initially had a tough time negotiating Sreesanth’s swinging deliveries, but were prepared to rough it out.

Sreesanth had the wicket of Guptill, who edged behind, but the batsman got a life as it was a no-ball. Guptill was second time lucky when he was on 11 as he edged Harbhajan Singh behind, but Dhoni could not hold on. The ball hit Dhoni’s finger and fell wide off V.V.S. Laxmam at slip.

McIntosh, who had a pair in the first Test at Ahmedabad, and Guptill were under the scanner for their poor running. The two, however, made amends and after a nervy start and grew in confidence. Guptill used his feet well against the spinners, often sending them to the boundary.

With Guptill taking charge, McIntosh was content playing the second foil, taking his time in the middle.

After Guptill’s fall, McIntosh controlled the innings and raised partnerships of 57 runs with Ross Taylor (24) and 47 with Ryder.

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