Giving a big lead: Dravid raises his bat in celebration of his century
RAHUL Dravid struck an unbeaten 105 to ensure India remained on course for a big lead despite losing three early wickets in the third and final Test against New Zealand today.
Dravid struck 12 fours in his 31st Test century after India lost Sachin Tendulkar, Venkatsai Laxman and Suresh Raina inside the first hour on the third morning of the match at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.
At lunch, India were 386-5 for a lead of 193 runs with five wickets in hand in reply to New Zealand’s first-innings 193.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (35) was the other not out batsman at the break.
Dravid completed his second century of the series with a couple off left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori (2-122) and celebrated it by pumping his fists in the air. He made 104 in the drawn first Test in Ahmedabad.
Dhoni was also in good form as he drove and pulled with ease to collect six boundaries during his 80-minute stay at the wicket.
Resuming at a strong 292-2, India slipped to 328-5 by the 14th over of the morning.
Debutant New Zealand paceman Andy McKay picked a memorable first Test wicket when Tendulkar (61) edged him behind the stumps in the second over of the day. The batting superstar added just four runs to his overnight 57.
He managed eight fours in his 129-ball knock.
The Kiwis struck another blow with the in-form Laxman (12) losing his leg-stump to an inswinger from fast bowler Chris Martin (1-63).
Vettori picked a wicket off his first ball of the day by inducing an inside edge from an off-colour Raina (three).
The series is tied 0-0 after the first two matches ended in draws.
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