HYDERABAD, INDIA // Virender Sehwag smashed an entertaining 96 and Gautam Gambhir hit 54 before New Zealand removed both the openers on day two of the second Test against India.
Sehwag unleashed 15 fours and a six in his 120-ball knock and added 160 runs for the opening wicket with Gambhir to steer India to 178 for 2 at close in reply to New Zealand's first-innings 350.
At stumps, Sachin Tendulkar was batting on 11 while Rahul Dravid was on seven.
The day's last session belonged to Sehwag, who underlined his dominance over the New Zealand bowlers with a dazzling array of shots on either side of the wicket after a cautious start to his innings.
The Delhi batsman, who scored 173 in the drawn first Test in Ahmedabad, hit a six and two fours in an over by part-timer Kane Williamson at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.
Sehwag was trapped leg before wicket by Daniel Vettori as he tried to slog-sweep the left-arm spinner, shortly before the end of the day.
"It was sad to see Sehwag miss a century," said the Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. "But he is a team man and is never bothered about his personal milestones.
"He has set the tone of our innings.
"We will now look to rack up a good first-innings total and put pressure on New Zealand."
Earlier, left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan (four for 69) and Harbhajan (four for 76) claimed four wickets each to bowl out New Zealand early in the second session as the tourists strugglef.
"We had a bad first session," said New Zealand's Jesse Ryder. "India bowled very well, especially Zaheer. He bowled a lovely first spell. We had a fine opening day. But in the end, I think we fell 100 runs short of what could have been a good total on this wicket."