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Laxman Century As India Hold On To Draw In Napier

New Zealand 619-9 dec (Ryder 201, McCullum 115) drew with

India 305 (Dravid 83) & 476-4 dec (Gambhir 137, Laxman 124no)

Third Test, McLean Park, Napier, day five: stumps
By Graham Wilson

VVS Laxman finished with an unbeaten century as India successfully batted through the final day's play in the second Test against New Zealand in Napier to draw the match, maintaining their 1-0 series lead heading to the final match in Wellington.

Laxman was unbeaten on 124 and Gautam Gambhir went from 102 overnight to 137 while Yuvraj Singh weighed in with a belligerent 54 before the declaration brought with it the end of play.

New Zealand got an early breakthrough when India were still behind, Sachin Tendulkar (64) edging Chris Martin behind where wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum took a fine catch diving in front of Ross Taylor at first slip.

Gambhir and Laxman then added 96 runs for the fourth wicket, Gambhir facing 436 balls in all before he was trapped in front by Jeetan Patel. He should have been gone long before though as he was dropped by Iain O'Brien at mid on giving Daniel Vettori the charge.

By the time he was out, the game was more or less safe and Laxman subsequently reached his 14th Test century in 187 balls with Yuvraj crashing ten boundaries at the other end to reach 54 in 63 balls.

India won by ten wickets in Hamilton and the final Test begins on 3rd April.

© Cricket World 2009