Dravid And Dhoni Miss Milestones But India In Charge
New Zealand 193 (Ryder 59) & 24-1 v
India 566-8 dec. (Dravid 191, Dhoni 98)
Third Test, Nagpur, day three
Rahul Dravid fell nine runs short of a double-century and Mahendra Singh Dhoni two short of a century but India remain firmly in control of the third and final Test against New Zealand after day three in Nagpur.
Dravid's 31st Test century enabled India to declare their first innings on 566 for eight in reply to New Zealand's effort of 193 and the tourists were unable to see out a tricky final phase of the day, losing the wicket of Tim McIntosh for eight to close on 24 for one, still trailing by 349 runs.
India resumed the day on 292 for two and the first wicket to fall was Sachin Tendulkar, whose hunt for the elusive 50th Test century continues, when he was caught by wicket-keeper Gareth Hopkins off Andy McKay, who produced a near-unplayable delivery to get his man for 61.
VVS Laxman (12) was then bowled by a hooping inswinger from Chris Martin and Suresh Raina was caught off the bowling of Daniel Vettori for three before Dravid found support from Dhoni.
Dhoni hit 12 fours and a six in his aggressive innings, hampered in the latter stages by a leg injury that required a runner, and his restricted movement played a part in him chipping back to Vettori for a simple caught and bowled on 98.
Dravid, who stroked 21 boundaries in 396 balls, fell in uncharacteristic fashion when he attempted to launch Kane Williamson down the ground only to be caught by Martin Guptill.
The declaration came following the dismissal of Harbhajan Singh for 20 - there was to be no third consecutive century for him - which left Ishant Sharma unbeaten on seven and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth unbeaten having not faced a ball.
India then completed their day in perfect fashion when Harbhajan had Tim McIntosh (8) trapped in front. Brendon McCullum was unbeaten on 15 and nightwatchman Hopkins had made one when bad light ended play early.
The series is level following two draws in the opening two matches in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.
© Cricket World 2010