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Sehwag misses ton but India in control

By The Assam Tribune

HYDERABAD, Nov 13 (PTI): Virender Sehwag narrowly missed out on a century but laid the foundation of a strong Indian reply after the host bowlers bundled out New Zealand for 350 on day two of the second cricket Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here today.

At stumps, the hosts were comfortably placed at 178 for the loss of two wickets with Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid batting on 11 and seven, respectively.

Sehwag smashed a typically aggressive 96 that came off 120 deliveries and included 15 fours and a six, while Gautam Gambhir, too, brought to an end his poor run of scores with a much-needed fifty.

Both the openers, however, got out in quick succession. Sehwag was bowled while trying to hoick Daniel Vettori over midwicket while Gambhir (54) was caught down the leg side by Gareth Hopkins off a Tim Southee delivery. The flamboyant Sehwag drove, pulled and employed the cut with real authority during his stay at the wicket, while Gambhir relied on the occasional nudges, flicks and drives to collect his runs during their crucial 160-run partnership that gave India the platform to dominate proceedings tomorrow.

In the last session, the two openers looked at ease as they collected 98 runs before getting out. Sehwag leaned on his backfoot and smashed a Brent Arnel delivery through backward point to begin the proceedings after tea.

In the same over, he flicked one that was going down the leg, through deep square leg region for a boundary. As he was approaching his fifty, Sehwag upped the ante whacking Vettori over midwicket for a boundary and then took a single to get to his half-century.

Such was Sehwag�s dominance during the final session that Vettori, after being at the receiving end of his onslaught, took himself out of the attack.

Replacement Kane Williamson, too, met with a similar fate. The belligerent opener smashed the part-timer for 14 runs, which included two fours and a lofted shot straight down the ground for maximum, moments after completing his half-century. The story went on similar line for Tim Southee as Sehwag hit the pacer for a flurry of boundaries in the following overs.


New Zealand 1st innings: T McIntosh b Khan 102, B McCullum c Dhoni b Sreesanth 4, M Guptill lbw b Ojha 85, R Taylor c Dhoni b Khan 24, J Ryder c Laxman b Harbhajan 70, G Hopkins lbw b Khan 4, K Williamson lbw b Khan 4, D Vettori lbw b Harbhajan 11, T Southee st Dhoni b Harbhajan 10, B Arnel not out 6, C Martin c Sehwag b Harbhajan 3; Extras: (b 2, lb 20, w 1, nb 4) 27; Total (all out; 117.3 overs) 350; Fall of wickets:1-4, 2-151, 3-206, 4-253, 5-269, 6-287, 7-312, 8-331, 9-338, 10-350; Bowling: Z Khan 27-8-69-4 S Sreesanth 21-1-88-1, Harbhajan Singh 35.3-10-76-4, P Ojha 27-4-80-1, S Raina 7-2-15-0

India 1st innings: G Gambhir c Hopkins b Southee 54, V Sehwag b Vettori 96, R Dravid not out 7, S Tendulkar not out 11; Extras: (b 1, lb 8, nb 1) 10; Total (2 wickets; 49 overs) 178; Bowling: C Martin 12-4-37-0, B Arnel 11-2-25-0, D Vettori 12-0-45-1 K Williamson 2-0-17-0.

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