Gambhir, Laxman battle on after losing Tendulkar in Napier Test (Lunch report)March 30th, 2009 - 8:49 am ICT by IANS
Napier, March 30 (IANS) India’s relentless battle of attrition to save the second cricket Test against New Zealand continued on the fifth day as they went to lunch at 306 for three here at McLean Park Monday.
Though India lost the important wicket of Sachin Tendulkar during the morning session, Gautam Gambhir and Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman carried the fight in their bid to deny New Zealand a victory, which looked very much on the cards, as they trailed by 314 runs on the first innings and forced to follow on.
The Indians, who won the first match of the three-Test series in Hamilton by 10 wickets, were only eight runs adrift of New Zealand’s 619 for nine declared. India were dismissed for 305 in their first innings.
Tendulkar was caught by wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum off pace bowler Chris Martin for 64.
Gambhir, who defied the Black Caps attack to score his fifth Test century Sunday, was on 119 at the break, adding 17 runs to his overnight score, and with him was Laxman on 30.
Tendulkar, resuming at 58, punched the fourth ball of the day through backward point, but could only add two more runs before nicking in trying to force a Martin outswinger to the off and ended up in offering a catch to a diving McCullum.
Tendulkar’s dismissal after adding 97 runs with Gambhir for the third wicket gave New Zealand a big hope, but they could not add on their early success.
Gambhir, who came into bat on the third afternoon, has been at the wicket for over nine hours spreading over three days and hit only one four facing 74 deliveries in the session, but Laxman kept the scoreboard moving with his well-timed strokes. The two added 46 runs for the fourth wicket.
– Indo-Asian News Service
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