Sunday, March 29, 2009


Gautam Gambhir made a painstaking century in lengthy partnerships with Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar as India, following on, batted themselves away from danger on Sunday on the fourth day of the second Test against New Zealand.Gambhir was 102 not out, Tendulkar was 58 not out and India was 252 for two at stumps, still 62 runs behind New Zealand after trailing by 314 on the first innings. India have eight wickets in hand with three sessions remaining.Dravid scored 62, his 56th half-century in Tests, after contributing 83 to India's first innings of 305 to mark the 10th occasion he has scored half-centuries in each innings of a Test match.Tendulkar made up for his dismissal for 49 in the first innings by reaching his 52nd Test half-century in a third-wicket partnership with Gambhir which had accrued 89 runs by stumps.India's progress through the fourth day was slow, even grueling at times, but as they negotiated the day with the loss of only Dravid's wicket it allayed the imminent threat of defeat and strengthened their position in the three-match series which they lead 1-0.After resuming at 47 for one, trailing New Zealand by 267 runs, India added 205 runs in 90 overs in the day, placing a higher premium on survival than accumulation.The tourists scored only 72 runs in 33 overs before lunch, 61 runs in 30 overs between lunch and tea and 72 runs in 27 overs in the final session.

But the approach successfully frustrated New Zealand and, though captain Daniel Vettori carefully rotated his bowlers, he was unable to make vital inroads into the Indian innings."There's been some honest toil out there today," said all-rounder James Franklin, who bowled 11 overs in India's innings at a cost of 23 runs. "We've seen how good a wicket it is. Gambhir played a great innings, batting all day with good support from Dravid and Tendulkar.

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