Pujara, Dhoni take India to 438

2012-08-24 13:07

Hyderabad - Cheteshwar Pujara cracked an impressive 159 and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit 73 to put India in a strong position in the second Test against New Zealand in Hyderabad on Friday.

The pair put on 127 for the sixth wicket as India were bowled out for 438 in their first innings at the stroke of tea on the second day. Ravichandran Ashwin contributed 37.

Pujara, who replaced retired Rahul Dravid at number three, and Dhoni fell to off-spinner Jeetan Patel in the afternoon session, but not before strengthening their team's position.

The 24-year-old Pujara, playing only his fourth Test, stepped out to attempt a big shot but miscued it and James Franklin took a well-judged catch running back from mid-on.

He smashed one six and 19 fours in his 306-ball knock.

The Indian captain also fell playing an attacking shot, caught by Doug Bracewell at mid-off after hitting one six and six fours in his 25th Test half-century.

Patel finished with 4-100 while left-arm paceman Trent Boult took three wickets.

India added 131 runs to their overnight total of 307-5 after a delayed start due to bad weather.

Dhoni, who was 29 not out on Thursday, completed his half-century when he turned Bracewell to mid-wicket for three runs.

Pujara, 119 overnight, continued to gather runs comfortably against the New Zealand attack and played some handsome shots as he hit two fours in an over from Boult and then pulled Bracewell for a boundary to reach 150.