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Gambhir century virtually assures series win

Gautam Gambhir virtually ensured India would win their first Test series in New Zealand since 1968 when he guided his side to an imposing 531-run lead at the close of play on the third day of the third Test on Sunday..Live CoverageSpecial

cricket Updated: Apr 05, 2009 13:33 IST

India were in total control of the third and final Test match in Wellington. After quickly wrapping up the New Zealand innings on Day two, India was now looking to add to their first innings lead and post a massive target for New Zealand.

Even though in their second innings, they lost Virender Sehwag early, it was Gambhir and Dravid who had the scoring resposibility. Dravid like his usual playing style was holding the fort from one end, while Gambhir collected the boundaries. India were 59/1.

The pair continued to score the runs and India's lead continued to grow. Both Gambhir and Dravid were timing the ball as the New Zealand bowling attack were in tatters as they failed to make any impression and were not even close to get a wicket. Gambhir the more dominant between the two batsmen raced to yet anothe fifty and was now closing in on a century. Dravid too completed his 50. India go into lunch leading by 352 runs. They were 170/1.

The partnership was then broken by Daniel Vettori as he got Dravid who edged one to the keeper. The new man in was Sachin Tendulkar who came in and took the attack to the New Zealand bowlers, but he too didnt last long as Vettori bowled a beautiful slower one that Tendulkar edged to first slip.

Though India lost two quick wickets, the runs continued to pile on as they increased their lead pass the 400 mark. India were 248/3.

India then lost Gambhir after a brillaint 162, who was soon followed by VVS Laxman for 61. But both the batsman had done their job as they has taken India past the 500 mark in their lead. Dhoni and Yuvraj were in the middle, when bad light stopped play and it was stumps. India were 349/5 with a lead of 531 runs.