Gambhir guides India to safety with marathon knock (Tea Report)

March 30th, 2009 - 10:45 am ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Napier, March 30 (IANS) Gautam Gambhir’s marathon knock came to an end, but not before he saw India wipe off a huge 314 runs deficit and take a 83 run lead on the fifth day of the second cricket Test against New Zealand here Sunday.
At tea, India were 397 for four with V.V.S Laxman (77) looking set for a century and Yuvraj Singh on 22.

Gambhir played a match-saving knock, occupying the crease for more than 10 hours and spread over three days. He batted around Rahul Darvid, Sachin Tendulkar and Laxman to raise vital partnerships and took India to the shores of safety after the visitors were asked to follow-on.

Gambhir, who stroked his fifth century Sunday and completed 2000 Test runs, played 436 balls and hit 18 fours.

He was lucky to survive after lunch when Iain O’Brien dropped an easy catch at mid-on. He was finally out lbw to Jeetan Patel after adding 96 runs with Laxman. But the lbw decision looked doubtful in TV replays.

In the first session, India lost the important wicket of Sachin Tendulkar (64) but Gambhir and Laxman carried the fight in their bid to deny New Zealand a victory.

Tendulkar was caught by wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum off pace bowler Chris Martin for 64.

Tendulkar, resuming at 58, punched the fourth ball of the day through backward point, but could only add two more runs before nicking a Martin outswinger to the off and ended up 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.

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