Sehwag guides India to 178/2 against New Zealand (Round Up)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

HYDERABAD - Virender Sehwag smashed 96 as India scored 178 for two in their first innings on the second day of the second cricket Test against New Zealand at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here Saturday.

Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir (54) batted cautiously at the start after New Zealand were bowled out for 350 in their first innings immediately after lunch.

But Sehwag exploded after tea, coming down the track to hit the spinners. He struck 15 fours and one six in his 120-ball stay.

New Zealand fought back towards the end, removing both the openers half-an-hour before stumps. Rahul Dravid (7) and Sachin Tendulkar (11) saw off the day without losing any more wickets. India now trail by 172 runs.

Sehwag and Gambhir faced some good spell of fast bowling from Chris Martin and Tim Southee, who got good purchase from the wicket. Martin, who took five wickets in the second innings of the Ahmedabad Test, used the short deliveries to good effect. Gambhir, who has been out of form, was also hit by a bouncer off Brent Arnel on his chest.

Sehwag shifted gears after tea, hitting his characteristic strokes.

Gambhir, who stroked seven fours, was the first to go, caught behind by Southee.

Sehwag’s stumps were rattled when he went for a cross-batted sweep off Vettori, but missed the ball completely.

Earlier, Zaheer Khan (4-69) and Harbjahan Singh (4-76) shared six wickets between them in the morning session.

Resuming at 258 for four, New Zealand batting crumbled in the first session and the visitors could add only 85 more to their overnight total to reach 341 for nine at lunch.

Zaheer struck with the second new ball and was well complemented by Harbhajan, who finally regained his touch with the ball.

Ahmedabad Test centurion Jesse Ryder (70) held one end strong and was impressive during his 120-ball knock, stroking 10 fours. Ryder is nursing a calf strain which he picked in Ahmedabad, but was the mainstay of New Zealand batting as he added 48 runs off 56 balls to his first day’s score of 22.

He was dismissed by Harbhajan, edging a catch to V.V.S. Laxman at first slip, shortly before lunch.

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