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India in control against Kiwis

INDIA was just one run short of New Zealand's first innings when it accepted an offer of bad light on the second day of the first test in Hamilton yesterday.

The tourists were 278 for four in reply to New Zealand's modest first-day effort of 279 when the umpires offered them the chance of an early finish.

Sachin Tendulkar, who survived a dropped catch on 14, was unbeaten on 70 with Yuvraj Singh not out on eight after Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid both scored half-centuries earlier.

Gambhir struck a patient 72 while a composed Dravid made 66 to lay the platform to build a healthy first innings lead on a flat batting deck that offered little encouragement to the bowlers but was difficult for fast scoring.

"There was something in it for them right through the day. The ball kept swinging a little bit and when you bowled in good areas it wasn't easy to drive," Dravid said.

"You always felt you were never really in, you had to work hard for your runs. I got a pretty good one when the ball was 60 overs old."

New Zealand made a bright start when it dismissed opener Virender Sehwag at the start of the morning session, which was delayed by 15 minutes because of overnight rain.

Sehwag had added just two runs to his overnight score of 22 when he was run out at the non-striker's end by a direct hit from James Franklin.

But India, which had resumed on 29-0, dominated the rest of the day with its batsmen adopting a steady approach at Seddon Park.Gambhir brought up his half-century off 101 balls to help India reach lunch on 108 for one but lost his wicket in the middle session when he was caught behind by wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum off the bowling of Chris Martin.

Dravid brought up his fifty off 108 deliveries but a momentary lapse in concentration cost him his wicket.

Tendulkar passed new milestones in his 157-test career, posting his 52nd half century and becoming the second most-capped player in history. He is now between two ex-Australian captains on the all-time test list, surpassing Allan Border's 156 and moving closer to Stephen Waugh's record of 168.


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