Ash­win blitzes five-wicket land­mark, In­dia tighten grip

Jamaica Gleaner - - TUESDAY SPORTS -

INFORE, In­dia (AP): RAVICHAN­DRAN ASH­WIN took his 20th five-wicket haul yes­ter­day as New Zealand were bowled out for 299 runs on day three of the third Test in In­dore. In­dia then reached 18-0 in six overs at stumps, tak­ing an over­all lead of 276 runs.

The vis­i­tors started well, with Martin Gup­till (72) adding 118 runs with Tom Latham (53). They were both dropped once. Ash­win then ac­cepted a sim­ple re­turn catch to dis­miss Latham be­fore lunch.

The slide be­gan af­ter the break, as New Zealand lost four wick­ets for 14 runs. Ash­win bowled Kane Wil­liamson (8) and then had both Ross Tay­lor (0) and Luke Ronchi (0) caught at slip, with Ajinkya Ra­hane pulling off sharp catches.

“Early in the spell, I try to get my align­ment and rhythm go­ing prop­erly and it’s tak­ing me a few overs,” said Ash­win. “Once I go through it and when my body starts go­ing com­pletely into the ball, the starts get­ting bet­ter. That was one of the spells af­ter lunch,” he said, af­ter the close of play.


Gup­till was un­lucky to be ru­nout when Ash­win got his fingers off a Ronchi drive and de­flected the ball onto stumps. James Nee­sham (71) added 53 runs with BJ Watling (23) to stem the rout.

But Ravin­dra Jadeja (2-80) struck on ei­ther side of tea to re­move Watling and Mitchell Sant­ner (22), who added 52 runs with Nee­sham. The all-rounder com­pleted his fourth Test half­cen­tury, be­fore be­com­ing Ash­win’s fifth vic­tim, trapped lbw.

It was the 20th five-wicket haul for the off-spin­ner and he be­came the quick­est In­dian bowler to achieve this mile­stone. He got there in 39 Tests, as com­pared to Ash­win cel­e­brates af­ter tak­ing a wicket. Kapil Dev (98 Tests), Anil Kum­ble (75 Tests) and Harb­ha­jan Singh (59 Tests).

“We have had some good dis­cus­sions. If some­body is bat­ting well, he gives you dif­fer­ent ideas about how dif­fer­ently you can bowl and what fields you can have,” said Ash­win, about his in­ter­ac­tions with In­dian coach Kum­ble.

Jee­tan Pa­tel (18) was then ru­nout much in the same way as Gup­till, Ash­win de­flect­ing a dropped re­turn catch from Matt Henry (15 n.o.) onto the stumps. Trent Boult (0) was last man out, caught in the deep off Ash­win, as the Black Caps sur­ren­dered a first in­nings’ lead of 258 runs.

In­dia didn’t en­force the fol­lowon though. Gau­tam Gamb­hir, who in­jured his shoul­der while field­ing, walked off af­ter fac­ing seven balls as he ag­gra­vated his in­jury.

There was some sur­prise that the In­dian cap­tain chose to rest his bowlers with only six overs re­main­ing in the day.

“I was cer­tainly pre­par­ing to bat. To­mor­row, I ex­pect them to come out, play a few shots, and put quick runs on board,” said Latham, af­ter the day’s play.

Mu­rali Vi­jay was un­beaten on 11, while Chetesh­war Pu­jara was not out on one run at stumps.

In­dia have al­ready won the three-match se­ries with an unas­sail­able 2-0 lead.


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