ASH­WIN TIGHT­ENS GRIP ON NEW ZEALAND

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

OFF-SPIN­NER Ravichan­dran Ash­win claimed three wick­ets to leave New Zealand reel­ing at 93 for four at stumps with In­dia tight­en­ing its grip on the first Test match in Kan­pur yes­ter­day. New Zealand were still 341 runs be­hind their mammoth tar­get of 434, with Luke Ronchi (38) and Mitchell Sant­ner (8) bat­tling on in In­dia’s 500th Test. The bat­ting duo put on 37 runs for the fifth wicket to steady New Zealand’s in­nings af­ter the vis­i­tors were re­duced to 56 for four. Ronchi, who has hit four fours and one six dur­ing his 58-ball stay, played with a pos­i­tive in­tent to tackle the spin­ners on a turn­ing day four track. Ash­win rocked the New Zealand in­nings in his sec­ond over when he sent open­ers Martin Gup­till and Tom Latham trudg­ing back to the pavil­ion. Gup­till was un­lucky as he got an inside edge onto his pads and the ball lobbed into the hands of Mu­rali Vi­jay at short leg. He was out for nought. The left-handed Latham, who scored a gritty 58 in the first in­nings, was trapped lbw for two as the bats­man played for the off-break that did not turn. Ash­win then got the prized wicket of cap­tain Kane Wil­liamson for 25, dent­ing New Zealand’s chase at Kan­pur’s Green Park.

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