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Harbhajan’s maiden century ensures a draw

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Harbhajan’s maiden century ensures a draw

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AHMEDABAD – Harbhajan Singh emerged as India’s unlikely batting hero when he scored his maiden hundred to bail the hosts out of a tight situation for a draw in the first Test against New Zealand at the Sardar Patel Stadium yesterday.
The right-handed batsman, who had hit a career-best 69 in the first innings, combined in a 163-run partnership with Vangipurappu Laxman for the seventh wicket, and put paid to any hopes the visitors had of winning.
A fiery spell of fast bowling by Chris Martin had reduced India to 15 for five on Sunday, and it required a dogged innings from the dependable Laxman (91) and the unlikely Harbhajan (115) to arrest the collapse.
Resuming on a precarious 82 for six, India finished their secoand innings on 266, setting New Zealand an improbable target of 295 runs from 24 overs.
The visitors lost Tim McIntosh, who went for a golden duck, and reached 22 for one before the captains settled for a draw.
Harbhajan celebrated his landmark by mimicking the batting stance of Sachin Tendulkar ­–  much to the amusement of teammates on the dressing-room balcony.
“I just wanted to stay there with Laxman. It was for him I got the hundred,” said Harbhajan whose knock included ten fours and three huge sixes. (Reuters)