Fri, Oct 10, 2003 - Page 30 News List

India firms up its postion

AP , AHMADABAD, INDIA

Rahul Dravid's unbeaten 152 yesterday consolidated India's position on the second morning of the test series opener against New Zealand, despite the early departure of overnight partner Vangipurappu Laxman.

Dravid's unbroken 56-run partnership with skipper Sourav Ganguly, who was batting on 19, took India to 320 for four at lunch.

New Zealand's tidy bowling restricted India's scoring to 71 runs in two hours on the second morning, but Dravid's fluent drives pierced the fielders and raced to the fence.

Dravid's innings-building fourth-wicket stand of 130 culminated when Laxman fell in the day's eighth over, driving left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori into the hands of Paul Wiseman at mid-on.

Starting with a cracking cover-driven four off Darryl Tuffey in the first over, Laxman added just eight runs to his overnight score of 56 before becoming Vettori's second victim of the match.

But Dravid, resuming at his overnight 110, continued to thwart the Black Caps, sending Tuffey crashing through covers and then on-driving him to the fence.

Cutting and cover driving Scott Styris for consecutive fours, Dravid had 18 boundaries from 303 deliveries.

Ganguly started cautiously, but opened up by cutting Styris square and then pulling Jacob Oram for his two boundaries off 73 balls.

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