Ahmedabad: Desperate to maintain their grip on the first cricket Test against New Zealand, India put on some quick runs but lost crucial wickets including that of batting mainstay Sachin Tendulkar to be placed on 126 for three at tea on the penultimate day in Ahmedabad on Saturday.After failing to contain the New Zealand tailenders, who helped the Kiwis avoid the follow on before being bowled out for 340, India tried to hurry things up to force a result in their favour but lost three wickets in the second session of play.
India have now a lead of 286 runs with seven wickets in hand and four sessions of play remaining. New Zealand spinners did a remarkable job in the post- lunch session and made runs hard to come by which resulted in Indian batsmen losing their patience and going in for some rash shots. But first innings centurion Rahul Dravid again came to the rescue of his team and looked on course for yet another big knock having made 64 runs when tea was taken. He had VVS Laxman, batting on five, for company.
The second knock of India once again saw the quick fall of two class batsmen in Virender Sehwag and Tendulkar. Sehwag, as usual, charmed only to deceive, being dismissed for 29-ball 17 when he attempted to slash a widish delivery off Jacob Oram. Chopra tried his best to speed up the scoring rate but perished after a laboured 72- ball 31 with Daniel Vettori claiming the second wicket for his side. Much was expected of Tendulkar in the second knock but he disappointed again, going for a lofted shot only to be caught by Vettori off Paul Wiseman for eight.