Dravid, Gambhir guide India to strong position (Tea report)

March 19th, 2009 - 10:30 am ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Hamilton, March 19 (IANS) Rahul Dravid scored a patient half-century to guide India to 197 for three at tea on the second day of the first cricket Test at Seddon Park here Thursday.
New Zealand removed Gautam Gambhir (72) and Dravid (66) in the second session in which India scored 89 runs.

The visitors are comfortably placed, just 82 runs behind New Zealand’s first ininngs score of 279 with seven wickets in hand. Sachin Tendulkar (25) and V.V.S Laxman (4) were at the crease.

Dravid, who has been going through a bad patch, took 138 balls for his 66 that included 12 fours. Dravid and Gambhir added 105-runs for the second wicket after Virender Sehwag was dismissed adding only two runs to his overnight 22.

Sehwag was beaten by a direct hit from James Franklin at the non-striker’s end responding to Gambhir’s call for a second run.

Stung by the dismissal, Gambhir batted with determination to reach his tenth half century, first against the Black Caps.

Dravid took his time to settle down before stroking some sweetly timed boundaries.

New Zealand struck back with Chris Martin dismissing Gambhir, inducing an edge through to Brendon McCullum. Gambhir’s 72 came in 135 balls with the help of 11 fours.

Dravid followed him shortly when his stumps were rattled by Iain O’Brien.

New Zealand would have been a better situation had Daniel Flynn held on to a tough chance at midwicket after Tendulkar miscued a pull off Daniel Vettori.

Earlier rain delayed the start of play by 15 minutes owing to heavy rain through the early hours of the day.

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