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India proceed to close up gap

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Published: Sunday, November 14, 2010, 14:23 [IST]
 
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India proceed to close up gap

Carrying on in the same vein from the first session, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman played rather cautiously after lunch. They were content just running the occasional ones and twos, not looking to force the issue, while the Kiwi bowlers toiled for a breakthrough.

There was a slight abberation to the trend in the 84th over when Laxman got stuck into Arnel, sending him for two fours. One shot went through mid-on and the other through the covers. India were now 256/3 and less than a hundred runs behind New Zealand's first innings total. The gap had begun closing up. But while on 45 in the 88th over, Dravid was out plumb leg before to Southee. Dravid who had faced 144 balls upto thet point, might just have been struggling against the speedsters and it finally showed.

Suresh Raina, badly in need of a good innings after his poor showing in the first test, came out to the centre. Laxman took some of the pressure off by hitting Martin for a four in the next over. Raina followed suit to send Southee for two consecutive fours at the end of the 90th over and India were 272/4. In the 94th over, Laxman brought up his half-century with a flick for four off Southee.

Raina and Laxman took 9 runs off Vettori in the 96th over as the two batsmen were clearly looking at closing up the gap. But Raina was having problems settling down. In the 100th over, Vettori got his wicket, sending him back for 20. India were 311/5. Now it was upto to Dhoni to come up with a captain's innings and give Laxman support. The two took India to Tea with the score at 323/5.

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