Dravid, Tendulkar build on lead

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Published: Sunday, November 21, 2010, 17:07 [IST]
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Dravid, Tendulkar build on lead

After tea, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar slowly but steadily extended India's lead. In the 6th over, Sachin got on top of McKay, taking him for two consecutive fours as the scored ticked over to 243/2, thus marking a 50-run lead. Just one run later, Dravid had reached yet another fifty in Tests.

Tendulkar slowed up just a bit as he approached his fifty. But he got to the landmark in the 80th over when he ran three runs off Guptill. The two batsmen played out the last few overs of the day, taking India to 292/2 in 82 overs with a lead of 99. India was firmly in control of the Nagpur Test.

India began the day well by polishing off the New Zealand tail in 10.3 overs for an additional 45 runs. The first breakthrough came in the fourth over of the day when Ishant Sharma got Brendon McCullum caught behind for 40. The next to go was debutant Andy McKay for just 5. But Southee offered some belligerent resistance, smashing Harbhajan for two sixes and a four in the 65th over. In the 67th over, he went after Ojha, carting him for a six over long-on, but was out next ball when he holed out to Sehwag at mid on. India had wrapped up the New Zealand innings for a meagre 193 and were a strong position early on Day 2.

Indian openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag gave India a brisk start by slamming the ball all over the park. Sehwag got after Southee and Martin early, sending the former for one four in the second over and the latter for two, in the third over. Then Gambhir got stuck into Southee in the 4th over, first hitting him for a boundary courtesy a fine glance and then slapping him to square leg for another four.

The fours kept coming from the other end as well with Sehwag especially severe on Southee. Sehwag welcomed Vettori into the attack in the 10th over with a huge six over long on. Vettori was in for more bad news when Ryder dropped a tough chance at short leg from Gambhir. Sehwag raced to his half-century in just as many balls with India on a healthy 79/0 in 16.2 overs. The two batsmen took India into lunch with the score at 89/0 after 19 overs.

After the break, the openers resumed scoring at a quick rate, before Vettori got Sehwag caught and bowled for a fluent 74. India were 113/1 in 24 overs with Rahul Dravid the new man at the crease. As expected, the scoring rate dropped considerably after Sehwag's departure.

But in the 29th over, Gambhir and Dravid picked Martin for 8 runs including one four from Gambhir past mid-off. Gambhir went on to score another fifty in Tests with a loft over mid-on for four. He and his partner took India to 150/1 in 34.2 overs. Vettori brought Kane Williamson on to bowl in the 38th over, but straight away the batsmen went after him, taking 10 runs off him including two fours. Williamson continued leaking runs as in the 42nd over, he sent for six.

Just one short of equalising with New Zealand's first innings score, Gambhir got out for 78 when Ross Taylor swallowed him up at gully off Tim Southee. Then Sachin Tendulkar joined Dravid and got off the mark with a spanking cover drive for four. The batting pair took India over the 200-run mark in the 47th over and to tea at the end of the 48th with the score at 205/2 and the lead at 12 runs.


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