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Late flourish helps India to 375/9 on Day 1
Posted on: 03-04-2009 , 04:: | DY365 Bureau

in the final session helped India end at a formidable 375/9 in their first innings on the opening day of the third Test at Wellington on Friday.

Taking the attack to the opposition India’s late-order indulged in heart-warming, gutsy batting to not only nullify whatever inroads New Zealand bowlers had made all day, but also ensured that the visitors ended Day 1 with their noses ahead

The final session yielded 185 runs for India, who recovered from a middle-order collapse at 204/6 to end the day at 375/9, which is India’s highest-ever total on an opening day of a Test match.

India’s number 10 and 11, Ishant Sharma (15 not out) and Munaf Patel (14 not out) too made merry, much to the frustration of the home team, and had already added 28 runs in just 4 overs for the 10th wicket when the stumps were drawn.

Earlier in the day, after New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori won the toss and opted to make first use the cherry, India made a flying start as Virender Sehwag, relieved of his captaincy duties for Wellington Test following Dhoni’s return from injury, unleashed an array of attacking shots.

Having raced away to 73 runs in just more than an hour, almost immediately after the first drinks break, India lost its first wicket when Sehwag nicked an o’Brien delivery to wicket-keeper Brendon McCullam. Sehwag scored a brisk 48, his knock coming off just 51 balls. He hit 7 fours and one six.

In the very next over, India lost its second wicket in the form of Napier centurion Gautam Gambhir. The
Delhi Southpaw was trapped in front of the wicket by James Franklin for 23 runs.

Gambhir’s dismissal brought batting Maestro Sachin Tendulkar to the crease as the 3000-odd crowd at the Basin Reserve got abuzz with anticipation. Tendulkar, along with Rahul Dravid, in what could be their last Test match on New Zealand soil, anchored India safely past the 100 run mark, as the visitors went to lunch at 101/2.

A vintage Tendulkar was on display in the post lunch session as the Mumbaikar stamped his class with gay abandon at the Basin Reserve. While dissecting all parts of the ground with an effortless ease, Tendulkar plundered most of his runs from square of the wicket as India looked set for a mammoth first inning total.

However it proved to be a false dawn when, having reached his 53rd half-century off 67 balls, Tendulkar edged a catch to McCullam, which brought his downfall. Tendulkar made 62 runs off just 85 balls, his knock punctuated with 11 sublime hits to the fence.


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