Hamilton: Sachin Tendulkar's impressive half century took India closer to New Zealand's first innings total as visitors finished 278 for four at stumps on the second day of the first test at Hamilton today. The master batsman hit eight fours en-route to his 52nd half century.
Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid contributed half-centuries as India dominated the entire second day.
Gambhir and Dravid shared a 105-run second wicket partnership either side of lunch before Gambhir was caught behind by Brendon McCullum off Chris Martin to leave India 142 for two.
Opener Gambhir departed for 72 after his 10th Test 50, which came off 97 balls and included eight fours, had helped the tourists to 108 for one at lunch after losing Virender Sehwag for 24 in the third over of the second morning at Seddon Park.
Dravid (66) then completed his 54th Test half century from 108 balls before being bowled by Iain O'Brien after 35 was added for the third wicket.
Laxman and Tendulkar came together when India lost Dravid and Gambhir in quick successions 'but they responded with a gritty stand, in true Test cricket style. Daniel Vettori was fast running out options as none of his seamers troubled India"s old hands.
Laxman hit 4 fours in his 30-run knock and added 61 runs with Sachin Tendulkar for the fourth wicket. Laxman forced a drive into the hands of Ross Taylor as his on-the-edge knock came to an end.
The first casualty for the day was Virender Sehwag who ran out of crease at 24.