Ahmedabad: India found an unlikely batting hero in tailender Harbhajan Singh who produced a match-saving maiden Test century to steer his team to safety alongwith VVS Laxman as the first cricket Test against New Zealand ended in a draw here today.
The gutsy Harbhajan (115) notched up his only first class century and combined with veteran Laxman (91) as the duo dented New Zealand's push for victory with a solid 163-run partnership for the seventh wicket.
Resuming their second innings at a precarious 82 for six, Laxman and Harbhajan saved India the blushes by batting cautiously before the innings folded up for 266 shortly after the tea break for an overall lead of 294.
The Kiwis were 22 for one in their second innings before both captains decided to call off play.
Zaheer Khan removed opener Tim McIntosh for a duck but Brendon McCullum (11) and Bradley-John Watling (2) ensured there were no further setbacks for the visitors who will take a great deal of confidence from their performance here.
The two teams will now travel to Hyderabad for the second Test to be held at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium from November 12 to 16.