(CNN) -- India continued to dominate on day three of the third and final Test at Wellington's Basin Reserve to close in on their first series win in New Zealand in over 40 years.
Gambhir hit 16 boundaries and two sixes on his way to a century as India closed in on a series victory.
Resuming on 51 for one, already 233 runs ahead, India piled on the misery for the New Zealanders as they racked up 349 runs for the loss of just five wickets on Sunday.
That gave them a mammoth lead of 531 runs when bad light ended play early and -- with just two days remaining -- it left the visitors nicely poised to wrap up the series with ease following their comprehensive 10-wicket win in the first Test in Hamilton.
Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid added 170 runs for the second wicket which effectively took the game away from New Zealand as their bowlers found it tough going.
However, the Black Caps did enjoy a profitable spell immediately after lunch with Daniel Vettori snaring the wickets of Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, who made just nine, as India went from 170 for one at lunch to 208 for three.
Dravid was dismissed on 60 after reaching his 57th Test half-century shortly before the interval. His 145-ball innings included 10 boundaries and was his fourth fifty of the series.
Gambhir and Laxman however, ploughed on to take India to 314 before both fell in quick succession once the second new ball had been taken.
Having reached 151 shortly before tea, Gambhir added a further 16 runs in the final session before he was trapped lbw by Iain O'Brien which brought to an end an impressive 257-ball innings that included 16 boundaries and two sixes.
O'Brien then struck again in his next over to dismiss Laxman (61), who had brought up his 39th half-century -- and third in four innings -- three overs previously.
That left India 319 for five, 501 runs ahead. Captain MS Dhoni (16 not out) and Yuvraj Singh (15 no) saw the visitors through to the close.
Meanwhile, Wayne Parnell and Dale Steyn shared eight wickets to set South Africa on their way to a seven-wicket win over Australia in the second one-day international in Pretoria.
Chasing 132 for victory after the tourists had reached a dismal 131 all out, Graeme Smith (40) led the South African charge as they eased to victory with more than 23 overs to spare.
It was all set up by career-best figures from Parnell (four for 26) and Steyn (four for 27), who had reduced the Australians to 19 for five before returning at the death to finish off Ricky Ponting's side in 40.2 overs.
It was Australia's third-lowest total ever batting first in ODI cricket, having twice before scored 101.