Monday, November 22, 2010

Dravid's 191 puts India in winning position

Rahul Dravid struck a determined 191 on Monday to put India in a winning position on the third day of the third and final test against New Zealand.

Dravid's performance helped India declare at 566 for eight in reply to New Zealand's 193, taking a first innings lead of 373 runs at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.

New Zealand was 24 for one in its second innings, still 349 runs short of making India bat again.
Brendon McCullum (15) and night-watchman Gareth Hopkins (1) were the not out batsmen at close after Harbhajan Singh claimed the early wicket of Tim McIntosh.

India looked set to force an innings victory with plenty of time to spare after Dravid built a 193-run sixth-wicket stand with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91).

The partnership helped repair the damage of three quick wickets earlier in the day after India resumed at 292 for two.

"The credit goes to the bowlers for getting them out for 193 because that helped us take a big lead," Dravid said. "The ball is still hard and we hope to put pressure on them like they did on us this morning."
Dravid made a cautious start against some testing seam bowling, but he opened up after reaching the three-figure mark, by which time Dhoni had entrenched himself well at the other end.

If Dravid waited for the loose deliveries, Dhoni took the initiative in jumping out of his crease on the odd occasion. He also played some clever sweep shots to ensure that the run-rate was kept up after slow progress earlier in the day.

Dravid, 69 overnight, got to his 31st test century with a nudge for two to square-leg off left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori after managing a streaky four past slip earlier in the over.

The number three batsman displayed some fine drives during his 573-minute stay at the wicket, hitting 21 fours off 396 balls. He missed out on a sixth double-century when he lofted part-time spinner Kane Williamson and holed out to Martin Guptill at long-on.

Dhoni had perished earlier after a well-crafted 98 off 156 balls, which included 12 fours and a six. Uncomfortable due to cramps that forced him to take a runner in Suresh Raina, Dhoni gave an easy return catch to Daniel Vettori as he stretched out to play a delivery from the left-arm spinner.

The sixth wicket stand between Dravid and Dhoni was a timely one considering that India had lost Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Suresh Raina in quick succession.

Tendulkar disappointed fans who had anticipated a 50th test ton from him. He edged a delivery from debutante Andy McKay to the wicketkeeper in the second over of the day.

Tendulkar, 57 overnight, was out for 61 off 129 deliveries, with eight fours.

Laxman hit two fluent boundaries but was dismissed with a fine incoming delivery from Chris Martin. Left-hander Raina too could not do much, caught bat and pad at short-leg off Vettori.

India had slipped from 292 for two to 328 for five when captain Dhoni walked in to partner Dravid.
McKay made it clear New Zealand was not giving in yet.

"We will take it session by session from here," he said. "We will try to take the match to the fifth day."

source : yahoo cricket


Post a Comment