Ahmedabad: Daniel Vettori struck a fine 60 as New Zealand tailenders showed remarkable resilience to help their side avoid the follow-on and fight back into the match on the penultimate day of the first cricket Test against India in Ahmedabad on Saturday. India, who were looking to enforce a follow-on after reducing the hosts to 227 for seven at one stage, ran into a stubborn Kiwi tail which not only took the visitors beyond the 300-run follow-on mark but also added some valuable runs before being bowled out for 340 half an hour before lunch.
Resuming their second innings, India, who had declared their first innings at 500 for five, were 14 without loss with Virender Sehwag batting on 13 and debutant opener Akash Chopra on one when lunch break was taken. If India are to extract a result on this pitch, which has surprisingly eased out and become easier to bat on than the first two days, they will have to score quick runs before asking the Kiwis to bat again. India, 174 runs ahead, would not like to see the match meander into a draw and would look to put up a total somewhere near 400 runs by close of play on Saturday and bowl the visitors out on Sunday.
Sehwag, who looked in good form in the first knock, showed urgency in his batting today and had raced to his 13 runs off 15 balls. Chopra, in contrast, was still to get into any kind of rhythm and was trying to adjust to the pace attack of Daryl Tuffey and Jacob Oram in the 15 balls that he had faced for his one run.