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India manage to draw 2nd Test in Napier against NZ

VVS Laxman scored an unbeaten 124 and Yuvraj Singh 54 as India played out a draw with New Zealand in the second Test in Napier on Monday.

Resuming the last day of the match on 252 for two, India suffered an early setback when Sachin Tendulkar (64) was caught behind by Brendon McCullum off Chris Martin in the fifth over of the day. However, overnight centurion Gautam Gambhir and Laxman dispelled whatever hopes the Kiwis entertained of forcing a win with a stubborn partnership for the fourth wicket.

Following-on, India scored 476 for 4 in their second essay, a lead of 162. With no hope of a result both captains agreed to call of the match with 17 overs remaining.

Gautam Gambhir was dismissed for 137, after nearly 11 hours at the crease, shortly before tea, but Laxman and Yuvraj ensured there were no further casualties.

Gambhir was trapped lbw by off-spinner Jeetan Patel about 30 minutes before the tea break after he had spent 642 minutes at the crease and faced 436 balls. It was the fourth lowest score in Tests for anyone who has batted over 10 hours in a single innings.

Only New Zealand’s Jeff Crowe (120 in 609 minutes), Sri Lanka’s Asanka Gurusinha (128 in 607 minutes) and West Indies’ Shivnarine Chanderpaul (136 not out in 675 minutes) have scored fewer runs.

Gambhir had produced virtually a chanceless innings before he reached 125, when he hit the ball straight to mid-on, where pace bowler Iain O’Brien proceeded to juggle then drop a sitter.

India’s lead at the time was just 13 runs after they were forced to follow-after being bowled out for 305 in their first innings, in reply to New Zealand’s 619 for nine declared.

Tendulkar was out in the first session when he was caught by wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum off Chris Martin for 64. The ace batsman, who had begun the day on 58, punched the fourth ball of the day through backward point to signal that he did not want to waste any time getting to his 43rd Test century.

The 35-year-old, however, added just two further runs before he was drawn forward by a Martin delivery that shaped away and a diving McCullum completed a superb catch to end his 97-run third-wicket partnership with Gambhir.

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