India score 438 against New Zealand in 1st innings

Cheteshwar Pujara cracked 159 and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni scored 73 on Friday as India was bowled out for 438 in its first innings on the second day of the first test against New Zealand.

Pujara and Dhoni carried on from the overnight score of 307-5, adding 80 to take the sixth-wicket partnership to 127 runs.

Pujara struck 19 fours and a six from 306 deliveries, while Dhoni smashed six fours and a six in 147 balls before both fell to offspinner Jeetan Patel while trying to increase the scoring rate.

Patel was the most successful bowler with 4-100. He also removed Ravichandran Ashwin, who made a useful 37 down the order.

Pujara, brought in to replace the retired Rahul Dravid at first drop, showed a penchant for shots on the leg side.

Along with Dhoni, he saw off a probing line from pace bowlers Chris Martin and Trent Boult in overcast conditions when play began following a 26-minute delay due to bad weather, forcing floodlights to be used.

It took until the ninth over of the day for the first boundary, from Dhoni, but the two batsmen easily batted through the first session in which they scored 64 runs.

Pujara was dismissed when he hit out at Patel but failed to clear James Franklin, who took a well-judged catch running backward from mid-on.

Dhoni fell trying an expansive drive that was taken well by Doug Bracewell at mid-off.

Ashwin was soon stumped by wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk to give Patel his fourth wicket before tea.

The Indian team is in a rebuilding process after the retirements of acclaimed batsmen V.V.S. Laxman and Dravid, both of whom quit recently after being blamed for a string of eight losses in England and Australia last season that demoted the team from No.1 in the test ranking to its current fifth position.

This series is being seen in India as preparation for challenging tours by England and Australia later this season.

The second and final test of the series is in Bangalore from Aug. 31. The tests will be followed by two Twenty20 games.

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