Gautam Gambhir hit his 5th test century of his career to lift the whole Indian team to save the Napier test which was looking uncertain at the end of day3. At stumps on day four Gautam Gabhir (102 runs) and Sachin Tendulkar (58 runs) were at the crease with India still trail by 62 runs.
Gautam Gambhir involved in two crucial partnership, first it was with Rahul Dravid and then with Master Sachin Tendulkar. Both partnerships was too crucial from Indian perspective and somehow it sent signal to the rest of the batsman to follow that if they will apply themselves in the middle then they can save the game for their country and keep the hopes alive of winning the test series in New Zealand.
Earlier Rahul Dravid went onto scored his 2nd consecutive half-century and 56th of his career. He and Gambhir put on 133 runs for the second wicket before Dravid given out by umpire I.Gould but replay showed that the ball was not anywhere near the Dravid bat. So for the second consecutive times he has to walk back to the pavilion feeling frustrated. In the first inning he has only himself to blame when he missed a century by 13 runs and in 2nd inning a bad umpiring decision.
However Gautam Gambhir kept going strong at other ends and with little master who missed his half century in the first inning made up for his dismissal by scoring his 52nd half century and put on 89 unbeaten partnership for the third wicket at stumps on day four.
India’s progress throughout the day was way too slow as they only scored 202 runs in the 90 overs but under the circumstances it was total determination and application that negotiated the New Zealand bowling and allowed them to pick only wickets of R.Dravid and that was because of dubious decision. India scored only 72 runs in 33 overs before lunch, 61 runs in 30 overs between lunch and tea with loss of one wicket and 72 runs in 27 overs in the final session.
Now with eight wickets still in the bank, it has given India more than a chance of saving the Napier test match. However cricket is the game of unpredictability and only time will tell whether India will able to save this test match or they have to face defeat in Napier.
Here are few stats came out after play on Day four
- Gamutam Gambhir inning of 102 runs helped him to get pass the 2000 runs mark in his test career and became the second Indian to reach the land mark in just 23 test matches after Sunil Gavaskar.
- Gautam Gambhir became only second opener to score century on New Zealand soil after little master Sunil Gavaskar.
- Dravid in his inning of 62 runs hit 15th six of his career. His 15th six was first since May 2007.
- Dravid century stand with Gambhir was 75th century partnership of his career.
Match Summary (Day4 Stump)
New Zealand 1st Inning – 619/9 in 154.4 Overs
J.Ryder- 201 R.Taylor–151
I.Sharma– 27-5-95-3 Z.Khan– 34-6-129-3
India 1st Inning – 305/10 in 93.5 Overs
R.Dravid- 83 V.V.S Laxman–76
C.Martin– 24-5-89-3 D.Vettori– 19-5-45-2
India 2nd Inning – 252/2 in 107 Overs
G.Gambhir- 102* S.Tendulkar–58*
J.Patel– 28-6-73-1 D.Vettori– 24-7-48-1