Kiwis begin cautiously, Test keenly poised

Published: Saturday, October 11, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Ahmedabad: Eyeing to force a result in their favour, India scored more than four runs an over to set a competitive target of 370 runs for New Zealand on the penultimate day of the first cricket Test in Ahmedabad on Saturday. By close of play, the Kiwis had shaved 48 runs off the target while losing the wicket of Mark Richardson for 21 and would now have to bat the entire day on Sunday to avert a defeat. Opener Lou Vincent was batting on 21 while nightwatchman Daryl Tuffey was yet to open his account when stumps were drawn for the day on a pitch that was still showing no signs of deteriorating.

After having allowed India to pile on 500 runs in the first knock, New Zealand did well to avoid the follow-on mainly due to the gutsy show by their tailenders especially Daniel Vettori who scored a fine 60 runs before their innings folded on 340. But India came back with a vengeance and did not let go the initiative scoring 209 runs in 44.1 overs, built around another brilliant knock by first innings double centurion Rahul Dravid (73) and VVS Laxman who scored an equally impressive 35-ball 44.

Captain Sourav Ganguly also chipped in hitting two sixes and one four in his 23-ball 25 to make up for a very entertaining second session for the sizeable crowd at the Motera Stadium.

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