Sehwag slams 21st Test century; India 243/1 (Tea Report)

November 4th, 2010 - 5:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Virender Sehwag Ahmedabad, Nov 4 (IANS) Virender Sehwag slammed a fluent century, his 21st in Tests, as India took their first innings score to 243 for one at tea on the opening day of the first cricket Test against New Zealand here Thursday.

The Indians did not lose any wicket in the post-lunch session as Sehwag and Rahul Dravid carried their second wicket stand to 183 runs to tear apart the New Zealand attack.

Sehwag was batting at 152 and Dravid 61 at the break.

Opener Gautam Gambir, who returned to the side after recovering from a dodgy knee, was the only batsman to fall in the morning session. He played Jesse Ryder on to the stumps, scoring 21.

Sehwag batted with his customary flair, scoring almost a run a ball. The Nawab of Najafgarh brought up his century soon after the lunch off 111 balls with 17 fours. It is his fifth hundred this year.

Sehwag’s innings, however, was not flawless. He was spared twice, first when he was on 144, Jeetan Patel failing to hold on to a return catch, and in the final over before tea Hamish Bennett misjudged a catch off Kane Williamson.

Dravid, who took his time to settle down, got his rhythm post lunch and his characteristic drives and cuts flowed. The former India captain needed 151 balls to bring up his 50 with the help of eight fours.

Earlier, Gambhir and Sehwag made most of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to bat and gave hosts a blistering start, 50 coming in 11.1 overs.

New Zealand seamers could gain little purchase of the wicket, forcing skipper Daniel Vettori to bring himself on in the ninth over. He held one end up with a restrictive line, but runs kept leaking from the other.

A flamboyant Sehwag brought up his 50 off 49 balls with nine fours.

Earlier, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara, who played key roles in India winning the second Test in Bangalore and with it the series, made way for V. V. S. Laxman and Gambhir. S. Sreesanth retained his place, though Ishant Sharma is also back in the squad after missing the Bangalore Test owing to injury.

Batsman Kane Williamson and seamer Hamish Bennett have made their Test debut for New Zealand.

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