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Zak strikes Zenith


Rajneesh Gupta


India took a big step towards winning their first Test series in New Zealand since 1968 after racking up a 233-run lead early in their second innings of the third Test on Saturday.


Zaheer Khan celebrates the wicket of Jesse Ryder © AFP
The architect was none other than Zaheer Khan, who carried the burden of the senior most fast bowler on his shoulders and delivered the goods for his captain, as his two partners, Ishant Sharma and Munaf Patel, failed to extract any assistance out of the Basin Reserve pitch. 

The most surprising aspect is the amount of late swing that Zaheer managed to generate, considering that one look at the pitch leaves the bowlers with a sad face, especially since the sun is shining strongly on New Zealand’s capital city.

Zaheer’s scalps, were Tim McIntosh (32), Martin Gutpill (17), Daniel Flynn (2), Jesse Ryder (3) and Tim Southee (16). The Bombay fast bowler took of his 7th career five-for and his second in New Zealand, and surprisingly his second at the Basin Reserve.

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor, who top-scored with 42, paid tribute to Khan, saying the 30-year-old opening bowler seemed more venomous than usual in taking his seventh five-wicket haul.

"He had an extra yard on him -- looking up at the screen it was his normal speed but he bent his back and hurried the batsmen up a little bit," Taylor said.

"He bowled extremely well.

Instances of Zaheer taking a five-for in Test cricket

Figures

Opponents

Venue

Season

Result (for India)

5-29

New Zealand

Hamilton

2002-03

Lost

5-34

Bangladesh

Mirpur

2007

Won

5-53

New Zealand

Wellington

2002-03

Lost

5-65

New Zealand

Wellington

2008-09

To be seen

5-75

England

Nottingham

2007

Won

5-91

Australia

Bangalore

2008-09

Drawn

5-95

Australia

Brisbane

2003-04

Drawn

Indian pacers with five-fors on New Zealand soil

Bowler

Figures

Venue

Season

Result (for India)

Zaheer Khan

5-29

Hamilton

2002-03

Lost

Zaheer Khan

5-53

Wellington

2002-03

Lost

Zaheer Khan

5-65

Wellington

2008-09

To be seen

Javagal Srinath

5-95

Hamilton

1998-99

Drawn

Madan Lal

5-134

Christchurch

1975-76

Drawn

Two phases of Zaheer’s Test career

 

Mts

Wkts

Avg

SR

5WI

upto January 2006

42

121

36.35

65.79

3

Since making a comeback in Dec 2006

23

87

30.48

56.13

4

India’s most successful pacers on foreign soil

 

Mts

Wkts

Best

Avg

SR

5/10

Kapil Dev

66

215

8-85

32.85

72.22

12/0

Zaheer Khan

41

147

5-29

32.12

56.23

6/0

Javagal Srinath

35

128

6-76

33.76

70.89

5/0

Irfan Pathan

15

73

7-59

25.57

44.41

7/2

Manoj Prabhakar

23

73

6-132

39.15

82.53

3/0

Venkatesh Prasad

22

69

5-60

36.46

73.10

5/1


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