Gambhir and Dravid defy New Zealand attack in Napier Test (Lunch Report)

March 29th, 2009 - 9:01 am ICT by IANS  

Napier, March 29 (IANS) Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid saw through the first session to take India to 119 for one in their second innings at lunch on the fourth day of the second cricket Test against New Zealand here at McLean Park Sunday.
Gambhir was batting on 60 and Dravid 34 at the break, as India still require 195 runs to make New Zealand bat again.

India, following on after being dismissed for 305 in the first innings in reply to New Zealand’s 619-9 declared, resumed at 47 for one and carefully grafted 72 runs in 33 overs in two hours.

Gambhir was the chief contributor to the scored this morning as he added 46 runs to his overnight 16, while Dravid batted 23 to his 11 dropping anchor.

Gambhir, who resumed on 14, survived a confident leg before wicket appeal by Iain O’Brien on 28, and six runs later, Patel had a vociferous shout for not offering a shot.

Gambhir got to his 11th Test fifty in style, hitting skipper Daniel Vettori for two fours - through the covers and then over long-on - and he took 171 minutes to get there.

Dravid, top scorer in India’s first innings of 305 with 83, also had a narrow escape when he dashed for his first run of the morning, but James Franklin’s throw missed the stumps. After that he was meticulous in his defence and hardly looked like wavering in his concentration.

Yet, Dravid smote the only wicket-taker in the innings off-spinner Jeetan Patel down the ground for a rare six just before lunch.

It was Dravid’s first six in 24 Tests, his last six being in 2007 against Bangladesh in Dhaka and only his 15 hit over the boundary in 133 Tests and 10,700 runs.

Patel claimed the wicket of stand-in captain Virender Sehwag (22) Saturday as India went in to bat after they lost their last first-innings wickets for 69 runs.

India lead the three-match series 1-0, having won the first Test in Hamilton by 10 wickets.

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