India survive Kiwi scare to keep their lead

Published: Monday, March 30, 2009, 10:31 [IST]
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Gambhir, Laxman lead India to draw

Napier: Determined batting from Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman helped India to salvage a draw against New Zealand on the fifth day of the second Test at Napier on Monday. The second Test ended in a draw as both teams agreed to call off play with India at 476/4 following-on in their second innings.

It was indeed a moral victory for Indians as they earned a fighting draw against New Zealand in the second cricket Test against New Zealand at Napier.


Defeat loomed large over them after they were bundled out cheaply in the first innings. But then the batting stalwarts got into the act and put up a show for which they're known for across the globe.

Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Laxman, all put their heads down and batted for time unknown to seal a draw for their side. This is indeed no less than a win for the visitors. India still lead the series 1-0, thanks to the victory at Hamilton.

The credit mainly goes to Gautam Gambhir whose marathon innings of 137 in nearly 11 hours by Gautam Gambhir ensured the second Test drifted towards a draw . It was his fifth Test century and the seventh longest innings by an Indian, though it was also the lowest score among the top 30 innings of endurance by Indian batsmen.

Gambhir played such a matured knock that saved India from defeat and allow them to head into the final Test in Wellington with a 1-0 series lead. He curbed down his natural instincts and batted out of his skin to rescue his side.

Laxman was truly special as well for his magnificent ton. Laxman took 187 balls to bring up his 14th Test ton, his 101 including 20 fours, five of which came in the first few overs after tea as he raced from 77 at the interval.

Dravid has silenced all his critics by springing back to form and hasn't he celebrated it well so far. Both his innings in this Test match have looked very convincing and authoritative.

Sachin Tendulkar also came in handy with a cautious 64 to save grace for the visitors after the first innings fiasco.

Yuvraj also got in on the act hitting nine boundaries on his way to an almost a run-a-ball fifty.

Patel was the most successful of the New Zealand bowlers with two for 84 while Martin and Daniel Vettori have a wicket apiece.

However Kiwis have new heroes in the course of the Test in the double centurion Jesse Ryder and an equally potent Ross Taylor.

The third and final Test match which starts on the 3rd of April. Can New Zealand come up with something special to save the Test series? Or will it be Dhoni's men to ink another special feat.

It was another hard day's work in hot conditions for New Zealand's bowlers who got absolutely no assistance from the pitch and now have just three days to recover before the match in Wellington. Patel was the most successful of the New Zealand bowlers with two for 84 while Martin and Daniel Vettori have a wicket apiece.

The third and final Test matchstarts on the 3rd of April.


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