India ride on Sehwag, Gambhir's knocks

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Published: Saturday, November 13, 2010, 17:09 [IST]
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India ride on Sehwag, Gambhir's knocks

Sehwag and Gambhir continued their good work after tea, building on India's first innings total. In the 21st over, Sehwag went after Arnel, hitting him for two fours, one to backward of point and one to the fine-leg boundary. In the 28th over, Sehwag hit Vettori to the mid-wicket boundary and ran a single to reach his 50 with India's total at a healthy 90/0.

A few overs later, Gambhir and Sehwag got on top of Williamson, sending the off-spinner for 15 runs, including one straight six from Sehwag. India were 122/0 at that point and looking deadly dangerous. In the 37th over, the duo took Martin for 8 runs. In the next over, Gambhir ran a Southee delivery to the third man boundary, bringing up his own fifty and India's 150.

The Indian batting was relentless and the Kiwi bowlers were toiling without any luck. Closing in on his century, Sehwag went down on one knee to swat Vettori, when he was bowled. He was out on 96 and had to begin the long walk back to the pavilion. In the very next over, Gambhir joined him when he was caught behind off Southee for 54. There were two new batsmen in the middle. Dravid and Tendulkar played themselves in slowly, taking India to 178/2 at stumps on Day 2.

The day started on a positive note for India. Zaheer Khan struck twice, first removing Gareth Hopkins for four in the 93rd over and then sending back Williamson in the 97th oevr for the same score, both his scalps coming off lbws. Then Daniel Vettori tried to consolidate with a well-settled Jesse Ryder who went on to reach his 50 in the 100th over with a backward of point boundary off Sreesanth.

The two took New Zealand to over 300 before Vettori trying an untidy sweep, was caught plumb in front for 11 by Harbhajan in the 104th over. The score at that point was 312/7 and Tim Southee was the new man at the crease. The duo piled on more runs until in the 110th over, Harbhajan removed the dangerous Ryder for 70 and then two overs later got rid of Tim Southee for 10. The last two batsmen for New Zealand played out the last few overs before Lunch.

Soon after the break though, Harbhajan returned to dismiss Martin for 3 and thus wrap up the New Zealand innings for 350. In response, India got off to a positive start with Gambhir edging a four over slip in the second over itself. Sehwag was initially a little more circumspect, especially while playing Martin. But both batsmen helped themselves to 10 runs off Southee in the 8th over, including a Sehwag four which was crashed through the covers. In the 11th over, Sehwag got stuck into Martin, hitting him for two consecutive boundaries, taking India to 39/0.

Once the openers had worked off the sheen of the ball and had caused it to swing less, they were more comfortable picking runs. They reached the 50-run mark in the 15th over when Gambhir drove Southee through the covers for a boundary. In the next over, Sehwag went for a big shot but didn't connect properly. However, it wobbled to mid-on and fell well short of the fielder. By the end of the 18th over, the openers had safely carried India to Tea with the score at 62/0.


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