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Gambhir slams 102, India end Day 4 at 252/2
Posted on: 29-03-2009 , 04:: | DY365 Bureau

TheIndian batsmen remained calm and played as safely as they could. Well, their strategy did pay off as the visitors ended the day four with the score of 252 for the loss of 2 wickets on their card.

Chasing New Zealand's 619 for nine declared, India had collapsed for 305 in the first innings and were asked to follow-on by the host team which is seeking to draw level in the series before the third Test at Wellington.

After the dismissal of Virender Sehwag on Saturday, it became more of a moral responsibility for Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid to ensure a good session on Sunday.

Earlier, India went to lunch at 119 for one, still needing 195 runs to wipe off the first innings deficit of 314 runs.

India made 72 in 33 overs (122 minutes) in the first session.

Chasing New Zealand's 619 for nine declared, India had collapsed for 305 in the first innings and were asked to follow-on by the host team which is seeking to draw level in the series before the third Test at Wellington.

India had won the first Test at Hamilton by ten wickets.

It was the dogged batting by Gambhir (60 not out) and Dravid which kept the Kiwis at bay in the first session, during which India realised runs in overs. Gambhir was a picture of confidence. The diminutive left hander moved his feet to meet Daniel Vettori and the probing Jeetan Patel upfront, hitting the spinners over the top without much ado.

The 27-year-old, who has awe-inspiring average of over 50 in 24 Tests, notched his eleventh Test half century minutes before lunch, promising to continue his battle against Jeetan Patel, who had lured him to his doom in the first essay.

Dravid was at his stoic best, watchful and circumspect. There was very little skipper Daniel Vettori could do as The Wall, which had been impregnated by Jesse Ryder on Saturday in a rare moment of imprudence.

Dravid did have moments of uncertainty against Patel, when the offie spun the ball past the willow, close to the off peg. But the 36-year-old asserted himself by hoisting Patel over the ropes at long on. He was unbeaten on 34, determined to continue to stone-walling exercise in the remainder part of the Test.

 
 

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