Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan slammed his second Test ton, first since his sensational debut against Australia at Mohali in 2013, to power India on in their chase of 407 on Day 4 of the 1st Test against New Zealand at Auckland. A laboured effort from the left-hander saw India negotiate the final and the first passage of play on the third and fourth day in their chase of 407. (Scorecard | Highlights | Pics | Match report)
He reached his ton off 169 balls and the innings was punctuated with 11 fours and 1 six.
Dhawan, who was dismissed for a duck in the first innings, was lucky not be back in the pavilion for another low score when he was dropped by Brendon McCullum early on in the innings late on the third Day. He made use of this opportunity to slam a ton and play the anchor in India's attempt to chase down a big total against New Zealand.
In what was a crucial passage of play for both sides, he and Pujara negotiated the pace triumvirate of Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Trent Boult to finish the day on 87/1. This, after Vijay was dismissed following a brisk start from the Indian openers.
With the onus of shouldering some responsibility in the run chase, Dhawan played the waiting game and seemed prepared to bide his time and get his eye in before putting away the poor deliveries.
Between playing a few glorious cover drives, Dhawan had a few nervous moments, leaving deliveries that swung into him and came very close to cliping his stumps. He survived till the end of Day 3 and finished unbeaten on 49.
In the first over on Day 4, Dhawan reached his fifty. Pujara's early wicket added weight to his role in India's chase and he joined forces with Kohli to keep India going.
Kohli departed for 67 and Dhawan followed suit soon after. His 115 came of 211 balls and proved to have come in a losing cause as the Kiwis clinched a 40-run win in an exciting finish in the final session of day four in Auckland.