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Indian bats come to party

Nov. 21: A strong all-round performance helped India consolidate the gains made on the first day against New Zealand in the deciding Test here on Sunday. Polishing the Kiwi tail within the first hour, India finished at 292 for two to enjoy a lead of 99 runs. Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid are at the crease.

Virender Sehwag continued with his routine and waltzed to another half-century while his partner Gautam Gambhir hung in gamely despite not finding his touch to help add 113 runs. Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar were not at their eloquent best but drew deep into their resources to further the lead. The seasoned duo put on 100 for the third wicket, their 19th century stand that helped improve their own world record.

The New Zealand attack lacked bite to test the top-order on a wicket that got increasingly easy to bat. If at all the batsmen had anything to complain it would be the lack of pace that demanded shots on the up to be checked. The second new ball was taken the moment it was available but it had no effect on Dravid and Tendulkar. With a small target to overhaul Sehwag set the pace pulling Chris Martin once in front of square and once behind after being hit on his fingers. The length was generally generous, allowing the batsmen to make the most of an attacking field.

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