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India take control of second Test

Virender Sehwag (left) and Gautam Gambhir added 233 for the opening wicket as India took control in Kanpur.
Virender Sehwag (left) and Gautam Gambhir added 233 for the opening wicket as India took control in Kanpur.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • India in control on the first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Kanpur.
  • Centuries from Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag leave them on 417 for two at the close.
  • Pakistan restrict New Zealand to 276 for six on day one of the first Test in Dunedin.

(CNN) -- Centuries from openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag left India in control on the first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Kanpur.

Gambhir hit a superb 167 and Sehwag overcame a tentative start to clobber a typically blistering 131, the pair adding 233 for the opening wicket on a placid surface.

Rahul Dravid then pressed home the advantage with an unbeaten 85 as India finished the day on 417 for two. Sachin Tendulkar, who joined Dravid in the final hour, was 20 not out.

Kumar Sangakkara's depleted attack was hammered around the park as India's top order ensured there was no dramatic capitulation as in the first Test in Ahmedabad.

Sehwag reached his 16th Test century off just 97 deliveries by turning Muttiah Muralitharan for a boundary to fine leg.

Sehwag hammered Muralitharan for three consecutive boundaries as India sped past the 200 mark in the afternoon session and continued to accumulate runs at a breathtaking pace before Muralitharan made the breakthrough.

Sehwag drove at a delivery with a little more air and picked out Tillakaratne Dilshan at extra cover.

Gambhir, who had provided the early momentum, slowed as he neared his century but got there in style, skipping down the track to hit Rangana Herath for a straight boundary.

It was his eighth century and second in succession after a ton in the second innings in Ahmedabad.

Together with Dravid, Gambhir added 137 for the second wicket, the run rate falling below five an over in the final session as Sri Lanka's bowlers brought some pressure to bear.

Gambhir was Muralitharan's second success on an otherwise poor day for Sri Lanka's bowlers, the off-spinner brilliantly latching onto a return catch.

Dravid had batted steadily, if slowly in comparison to the openers, but proved just as effective. He reached his half-century -- his 58th in Tests -- by sweeping Muralitharan for a single.

Sri Lanka took the second new ball with four overs remaining but Dravid and Tendulkar played cautiously to finish the day unbeaten.

Ajantha Mendis, who took injured fast bowler Dammika Prasad's place in the side, conceded 87 from 19 overs while Herath -- the third specialist spinner in Sri Lanka's attack -- leaked 91 from 18 overs.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Asif marked his return to Test cricket with three wickets as Pakistan restricted New Zealand to 276 for six on day one of the first Test in Dunedin.

The controversial fast bowler, back after a two-year absence, struck early to dismiss Daniel Flynn then removed Peter Fulton and Grant Elliott in quick succession in the final session to finish with figures of three for 76 off 24 overs.

The highlights for New Zealand were half-centuries for Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor. Their third-wicket stand of 117 dug New Zealand out of trouble after a horror start which saw them reeling at 27 for two inside the opening six overs.

A maiden Test fifty for Guptill, who was eventually dismissed in the second session for 60, and 94 from Taylor appeared to give the Black Caps some hope of setting a reasonable total but that was dashed when Asif removed Fulton and Elliott in successive overs to leave the Black Caps at 211 for six.

Once again skipper Daniel Vettori (40 not out) was left to shore up his side's batting effort as he and Brendon McCullum (unbeaten on 25) made it to the close at University Oval.