Mohali: V V S Laxman led a grim fightback with a patient unbeaten 86 as a desperate India was struggling to wriggle out of the follow-on threat on the penultimate day of the series-deciding second cricket Test against New Zealand in Mohali on Sunday. Laxman played with a great deal of responsibility to steer India closer to the follow-on mark, which is still 41 runs away, with four wickets in hand and one day's play remaining. Laxman was batting on 86 while Anil Kumble was giving him company on one at draw of stumps on the penultimate day that saw very little fireworks from the Indian batsmen, much to the disappointment of a packed holiday crowd.
The entire day fetched just 187 runs for the hosts and with no more recognised batsmen to come in, they were still not out of danger on a track which has shown signs of providing some assistance to the bowlers. Resuming at the overnight score of 203 for one in reply to New Zealand's mammoth first innings score of 630 for six declared, the home team was given a scare with the dismissal of two quick wickets but a laboured 112-run fourth wicket partnership between Tendulkar and Laxman steadied the ship to a great extent.