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India vs New Zealand 1st Test, Day 1: Sehwag, Dravid Hit Centuries As India Dominates

By on November 4, 2010

India 329 for 3 (Sehwag 173, Dravid 104) vs New Zealand…

Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid produced centuries in contrasting styles to help India dominate the opening day of the first test against New Zealand on Thursday.

Sehwag made a well-paced 173 while Dravid compiled a steady 104 as the home side reached a commanding 329-3 after winning the toss and asking the opposition to bowl on a good batting pitch at the Sardar Patel Stadium.

Sachin Tendulkar (13) and VVS Laxman (7) were not out at the close.

India was put in a position of strength by Sehwag and Dravid, who made the most of an unimpressive bowling attack that also lacked support in the field as three clear chances were spilled.

Sehwag smashed 24 fours and a six off 199 deliveries for his 22nd test hundred, during which he dominated a 237-run stand for the second wicket with Dravid.

Sehwag timed the ball well from early on, stroking three fours through the off side against Chris Martin in the third over.

He welcomed first-change bowler Jesse Ryder with a lofted four over mid-on and smashed him straight down the ground for another boundary off the next delivery. A drive through the cover region off Jeetan Patel took him to his 50.

He slowed a little when approaching triple figures but reached it with a trademark lofted shot for four over mid-off from Daniel Vettori.

Sehwag had a reprieve from off-spinner Patel, who failed to latch on to an easy return catch when the batsman was on 144 and was also let off on 155, when substitute Martin Guptill fumbled at mid-wicket off debutant Kane Williamson.

He was finally bowled by Vettori as he shaped up lazily on the back foot.

“The pitch was very easy to bat on and I knew that if I saw off the opening 30 minutes, I was in for a big score,” Sehwag said. “New Zealand has an inexperienced bowling attack and it would not have been easy for them to bowl in these conditions.”

Dravid also had a lucky break when he was dropped on 28 by wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkin off Ryder. Dravid was solid either side of the chance during a 227-ball innings which saw him strike 14 fours for a 30th test ton.

Dravid contributed just 17 runs in the first 100 runs of the second-wicket stand, but opened up to strike some well-timed boundaries on the offside later in the day.

“We failed to stick to our plans and the way things were going, we were expecting India to score in excess of 400 today,” Ryder said. “The wicket is flat, but one good session can change the course of the game.”

Top-ranked India, boosted by the return of Gambhir and VVS Laxman, dropped Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay, despite their contributions to the test win over Australia at Bangalore last month.

Skipper Vettori, appearing in his 100th test for New Zealand, is the only one in his side to have played a test in India before. The inexperienced side also has two players making their debuts _ Kane Williamson and pace bowler Hamish Bennett.

Having just beaten Australia 2-0 in a two-test home series, India is favorite to beat New Zealand in their three-match series. Hyderabad and Nagpur will host the remaining two tests.

Source: Yahoo Cricket

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