Gambhir helps India take a mammoth lead (Tea Report)

April 5th, 2009 - 12:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Wellington, April 5 (IANS) Gautam Gambhir scored an unbeaten 151 and Rahul Dravid made a patient 60 as India piled 269 for three in the second innings at tea extending their lead against New Zealand to 451 on the third day of the third cricket Test here Sunday.
V.V.S. Laxman was batting at the other end on 29 as India made 99 runs in the second session at the Basin Reserve. India made 379 runs in their first innings and then bowled out the hosts for a 197 runs.

Gambhir, who scored 137 in a marathon 11-hour batting in the second innings of the second Test at Napier, got to his century in successive Tests and seventh overall and continued his astonishing form in the series.

Resuming at overnight score of 51/1, Gambhir and Dravid added 119 runs in the first session to extend India’s overall lead to 352 by lunch. Their 170-run stand for the second wicket was broken by a stunning piece of work by Brendon Mccullum to get rid of Dravid off Daniel Vettori.

Gambhir, a major batting success of the series, was at his aggressive best, and he got to his 50 off 76 balls hitting seven fours. Gambhir punished the New Zealand bowlers even if they were slightly outside the off stump. He created opportunities by coming down the track and one such stroke that he drove through the covers off Southeee got his seventh Test century.

Dravid on the other end was more circumspect and took his time to settle down. He took 63 deliveries to get to nine but then slowly showed his aggression to both pace and spin. He cut and pulled Iain O’ Brien for boundaries and when Vettori came in to the attack he lofted the New Zealand captain straight down the line and also over mid-on. Dravid reached his half-century by again hitting Vettori for his ninth boundary.

Vettori, however, took his revenge by removing Dravid and then also quickly dismissed Sachin Tendulkar (9) to make the Indian camp gloomy for a brief moment. But Gambhir and Laxman dominated the proceedings to put New Zealand on the backfoot again.

India are looking to their first Test series win in New Zealand since 1968 and they have a 1-0 lead after winning the first match in Hamilton by 10 wickets.

The match started an hour late by Indian Standard Time (IST) due to end of daylight saving in New Zealand. The period of daylight saving is run during summer, from the last Sunday in September until the first Sunday in April and Saturday night the New Zealanders put their clocks back an hour as daylight saving came to an end.

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