In­dia in firm con­trol

> Ash­win six wick­ets dis­misses New Zealand for 299

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

Rclaimed six wick­ets to help dis­miss New Zealand for 299 and put In­dia in pole po­si­tion with a 258-run first in­nings lead in the third and fi­nal Test yes­ter­day.

In­dia, who did not en­force the fol­low-on, were 18 for no loss in their sec­ond in­nings at stumps on day three, with Mu­rali Vi­jay (11) and Chetesh­war Pu­jara (1) stretch­ing the lead to 276 in their quest to com­plete a se­ries white­wash at In­dore.

Opener Gau­tam Gamb­hir re­tired hurt on six af­ter ag­gra­vat­ing a shoul­der in­jury, which he first suf­fered while field­ing, as he dived into his crease to avoid a run-out.

Ear­lier, off-spin­ner Ash­win en­sured that In­dia con­tinue their dom­i­na­tion of the se­ries at their new­est Test venue, In­dore’s Holkar Sta­dium, af­ter record­ing his 20th five-wicket haul to de­stroy the New Zealand bat­ting.

Opener Martin Gup­till, who struck form with a gritty 72, and James Nee­sham (71) put up the main re­sis­tance against an in­spired In­dian at­tack. The Black Caps, who be­gan the day on 28 with­out loss, had made a strong start in re­sponse to In­dia’s com­mand­ing first in­nings score of 557 for five de­clared, but then lost five wick­ets for just 30 runs.

Af­ter Tom Latham fell just be­fore lunch for 53, caught and bowled by Ash­win, In­dia turned the screws on the vis­i­tors by tak­ing a fur­ther five wick­ets in the af­ter­noon ses­sion.

Gup­till counter-at­tacked the In­dian bowlers with 10 fours and two sixes dur­ing his 144-ball stay but was un­lucky to be run out by Ash­win while back­ing up.

Ash­win’s other vic­tims in­cluded New Zealand skip­per Kane Wil­liamson, who was bowled for eight early on af­ter drag­ging a turn­ing de­liv­ery onto his stumps. It was the third time in a row he had been dis­missed by Ash­win.

Nee­sham and B.J. Watling put on 53 for the sixth wicket to raise hopes of a re­vival, but lef­t­arm spin­ner Ravin­dra Jadeja broke the stand by bowl­ing Watling for 23 af­ter the wick­et­keeper­bats­man had struck four bound­aries.

Nee­sham car­ried on the good work af­ter tea to reg­is­ter his fourth Test fifty in 10 games but ran out of steam af­ter be­ing trapped lbw by Ash­win, who soon wiped out the tail.

In­dian skip­per Vi­rat Kohli had played a vi­tal role Sun­day with a ca­reer-best 211, his sec­ond dou­ble-cen­tury in Tests. Kohli’s record 365-run fourth-wicket stand with Ajinkya Ra­hane (188) was the high­light of In­dia’s first in­nings af­ter the hosts elected to bat first.

In­dia, who took an unas­sail­able 2-0 lead in Kolkata, are look­ing to com­plete their sec­ond home se­ries white­wash against New Zealand in suc­ces­sion. – AFP

Ash­win

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