Pujara hits ton as India set Kiwis stiff target

Indore, Oct 11 (IANS) Cheteshwar Pujara smashed an unbeataen century as India declared their second innings at 216/3 to set New Zealand a target of 475 runs on the fourth day of the third Test against New Zealand at the Holkar Cricket Stadium here on Tuesday.

Pujara was unbeaten on 101 runs off 148 balls with Ajinkya Rahane (23 not out) batting at the other end when India Test captain Virat Kohli decided to declare the innings midway through the post-lunch session.

Pujara, who has been in good form in this series, thus completed the seventh century of his Test career. He has also scored three half-centuries during the series.

The Saurashtra batsman nine boundaries during his innings.

Among the New Zealand bowlers, off-spinner Jeetan Patel was the only one to bag wickets with figures of 2-56.

Patel trapped Kohli leg before shortly after lunch with a delivery that turned and hit the Indian captain on the pads after pitching just outside off.

The Kiwi spinner of Indian origin had dismissed Gautam Gambhir during the morning session. The third wicket, that of Murali Vijay, fell to a run-out.

Earlier, Gambhir and Pujara hit half-centuries to carry India to a dominant position at lunch.

At the end of the first session of the day, India were at 127/2 in their second innings, having extended their lead to 385 runs.

For India, Pujara and Kohli were at the crease at the break.

Gambhir (50), who has won back his place in the team after quite a long gap, completed his half-century off just 56 deliveries before being sent back to the pavilion by Kiwi spinner Jeetan Patel.

Brief scores:

India: 557/5 declared and 216/3 declared (Cheteshwar Pujara 101 not out, Gautam Gambhir 50; Jeetan Patel 2-56) vs New Zealand (1st innings): 299.



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