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India set NZ huge target to save Test
Posted on: 06-04-2009 , 04:: | DY365 Bureau

By lunch New Zealand were 37 for one, after Tim McIntosh was out for four, becoming Rahul Dravid's world record 182nd catching victim after the batsman edged Zaheer Khan into to the slips in the 11th over.

The veteran 36-year-old Dravid eclipsed the record for Test catches by a fielder, which was previously held by Australia's Mark Waugh.

At lunch New Zealand opener Martin Guptill was unbeaten on 29 and Daniel Flynn was on four as the home side set about the titanic task of trying to salvage a draw.

Victory was not on the radar for New Zealand, with the highest fourth innings winning total in Test cricket history being the 418 scored by the West Indies against Australia in 2003.

India added another 85 runs in 18 overs before declaring on the morning of the fourth day, leaving New Zealand's often batting fragile line-up with the huge task of surviving nearly two days to save the Test.

The tourists lead the series 1-0 and need only a draw from this final Test to ensure their first series win in New Zealand since 1968, with only weather likely to save New Zealand from a heavy loss.

New Zealand have had their backs against the wall since Saturday, when they were dismissed cheaply for 197 in reply to India's first innings total of 379.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni took his score to 56 and Zaheer Khan was unbeaten on 18 when Dhoni declared the 116-over innings after 75 minutes play on Monday.

Yuvraj Singh also helped pile on the misery for New Zealand, scoring a quick 40, including three consecutive fours and a six off one Iain O'Brien over.

The procession of runs was slowed when Yuvraj edged Martin to Ross Taylor at slip in the eighth over of the morning.

New batsman Harbhajan Singh departed just three balls later, top edging Martin to Tim Southee at fine leg, who juggled the ball before finally bring it under control.

India's second innings was built on the bedrock of a magnificent 167 by opener Gautam Gambhir, who batted for nearly six hours Saturday and Sunday for his second century of the series.

Gambhir outlined his side's strategy Thursday, saying India planned to set a target so high that New Zealand had only survival to play for.

"Five sessions for me is a lot of time and I don't think New Zealand can possibly survive five sessions," he said.

 
 

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