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India consolidate to 417 for 2 at Stumps

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India perfectly consolidated on the hundreds scored by its openers to end Day 1 at a supreme position of 417 for 2. Rahul Dravid on 85 and Sachin Tendulkar on 20 are at the crease and are involved in yet another solid partnership. This score of 417 for 2 is the highest amount of runs put up by India ever in an opening day’s play.

The hosts were already in a commanding position by Tea at 307 for 1 in 59 overs. Gautam Gambhir who was slightly restless at the end of the afternoon session got back his focus to keep his partnership going further after Tea. He notched up his 150 soon and finally got out in the 76th over after driving one uppishly back to Muralitharan off his own bowling. Murali held onto a full length diving catch with his right hand. Gambhir had piled up 167 from 215 balls with 15 fours. He put on 233 for the first wicket with Sehwag followed up with 137 for the second with Rahul Dravid.

The run rate dropped down significantly after the loss of Gambhir but it didn’t matter at all. India just had to preserve their wickets for Day 2 and it was only about batting out the last hour sensibly. Dravid and Tendulkar did exactly that to consolidate India. The second new ball was taken in the 87th over and it hardly swung or seamed around.

By close of play, Dravid eased his way to 85 from 153 balls with 8 fours and Sachin played safely with 20 from 53 balls. The last session saw India collect 110 runs in 31 overs at the loss of Gambhir’s wicket.