| Updated at: 2027 PST, Friday, November 05, 2010|
AHMEDABAD: Tailender Harbhajan Singh struck a career-best 69 before India picked up two early wickets to put New Zealand under pressure on the second day of the first Test on Friday.
Harbhajan slammed three sixes and five fours in his 97-ball knock to steer India's first innings to 487 after the hosts had been reduced to 412-8 on a deteriorating wicket at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.
At stumps, New Zealand were 69-2, trailing the Indians by 418 runs with eight wickets in hand. Brendon McCullum (38) and Ross Taylor (18) were the not out batsmen.
Paceman Zaheer Khan gave India an early breakthrough when he had opener Tim McIntosh (0) caught behind in the third over while left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha pegged back the off-stump of BJ Watling to reduce the Kiwis to 27-2.
But McCullum, opening the innings for the first time in Tests, held on steadily to one end, hitting seven fours during his two-hour stay at the wicket.
Earlier, Kiwi captain Daniel Vettori finished with the best figures of 4-118, sending back Mahendra Singh Dhoni (10), Zaheer Khan (one) and Harbhajan after taking the wicket of Virender Sehwag (173) on Thursday.
Dhoni was running a fever and underwent tests for malaria, according to the local media manager.
New Zealand fought back in the last 25 minutes before lunch to pick three quick Indian wickets, including that of star batsman Sachin Tendulkar for 40.
Tendulkar offered a simple return catch to off-spinner Jeetan Patel, disappointing a sizeable crowd that was expecting to celebrate his 50th Test ton on Diwali, the festival of lights.
Venkatsai Laxman (40) was trapped leg before wicket by Patel (3-135) after he had shared 66 runs for the fourth wicket with Tendulkar.