McMillan stands between India and victory

Published: Sunday, October 12, 2003, 20:50 [IST]
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Ahmedabad: Lou Vincent and Craig McMillan struck fine half-centuries to take New Zealand to 195 for six at tea as India's quest for a victory in the first cricket Test continued on the final day in Ahmedabad on Sunday. With just one session of play and 27 overs remaining, the Test is still open and a result difficult to predict, though the Indians continued to dominate by taking a couple of wickets in the post-lunch session.

The Kiwis need another 175 runs for victory with four wickets in hand -- a very tough task considering the Indians have not allowed partnerships to build by taking wickets at regular intervals. The Indian bowlers, especially the spin duo of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, have also been quite economical so far. While Kumble has proved to be more successful of the two having conceded 66 runs in 29 overs while taking four wickets, Harbhajan has also done a commendable job with figures of 33-0-59-2.

But the duo have now run into an in-form Craig McMillan, batting on 56 at tea and first innings centurion Nathan Astle (16 not out) who came to bat down in the order due to an upset stomach. The two batsmen have so far added 26 runs for the seventh wicket and looked at ease against an attack which was getting frustrated not being able to finish off the match.

Earlier, Vincent looked in good touch en route to his 67 (184 b, 9X4) but he succumbed to a poor shot and played on a Kumble delivery to his stumps to become the first wicket to fall in the post-lunch session before Jacob Oram (7).

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