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Page last updated at 05:30 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 06:30 UK

Laxman century earns India draw

Second Test, Napier (day five):
New Zealand 619-9 dec drew with India 305 & 476-4
Match scorecard

VVS Laxman
Laxman shared an unbeaten fifth-wicket stand of 120 with Yuvraj

VVS Laxman hit his 14th Test century as India batted through the final day of the second Test to earn a high-scoring draw with New Zealand in Napier.

India had resumed on 252-2, still 62 runs behind after following on, and soon lost Sachin Tendulkar for 64.

But although Gautam Gambhir fell for 137 after nearly 11 hours at the crease, Laxman and Yuvraj Singh (54 not out) ensured they finished on 476-4.

India lead the series 1-0, with the final Test in Wellington on 3 April.

When Laxman hit a pull shot for four shortly after lunch on the final day, India had wiped out the 314-run deficit - and the threat of possible defeat disintegrated when, soon afterwards, Iain O'Brien juggled and dropped an easy chance at mid-on off Gambhir - Black Caps captain Daniel Vettori the unfortunate bowler.

Gambhir was finally lbw to Jeetan Patel. His innings had spanned 642 minutes and 436 deliveries.

Whatever conditions we come up against in Wellington, this performance has given us confidence

Daniel Vettori

India's safetly assured, Laxman in particular hit some more exuberant shots in the final session - O'Brien his principal victim, and when he reached his ton there was as much noise from the visitors' dressing room as from the sparse crowd.

The 100-run partnership with Yuvraj took just 59 minutes as boundaries flew about. The hard work done by those before him, Yuvraj was in particular able to play his natural, free-flowing game - hitting 10 boundaries in a 79-ball gem of an innings.

Vettori, desperate to see his team advance from their position of eighth in the Test championship table (only Bangladesh are beneath them), said: "It was a bit tough. We didn't expect to spend three whole days in the field.

"Still, everything I asked of the team before the match came to fruition so I'm happy with most aspects of the match.

"Whatever conditions we come up against in Wellington, this performance has given us confidence and we'll take a lot of heart from it."

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see also
Gambhir steers India from danger
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Kiwis keep India under pressure
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Kiwis take control against India
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Sehwag stars as India romp to win
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India in New Zealand 2009
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