In­dia’s Ashwin tight­ens grip on NZ

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

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 and Mitchell Sant­ner 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 low 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.

It was Ashwin’s 200th Test wicket in his 37th match to stay sec­ond to Aus­tralia’s Clar­rie Grim­mett, who raced to 200 wick­ets in 36 games.

The vis­i­tors con­tin­ued to slip fur­ther as Ross Tay­lor was run out for 17 af­ter Umesh Ya­dav’s di­rect throw from deep mid-wicket hit the stumps at the non-strik­ers end.

Ronchi and Sant­ner then held fort un­til the close of play to take the fight into the fifth and fi­nal day.

In­dia de­clared their sec­ond in­nings on 377 for five at tea with Ro­hit Sharma and Ravin­dra Jadeja putting on a 100-run un­beaten part­ner­ship for the sixth wicket.

The duo played at­tack­ing cricket in the sec­ond ses­sion to put In­dia on top. Jadeja hit two fours and three sixes dur­ing his 58-ball knock and Sharma struck eight bound­aries for his fifth Test half-cen­tury.

Chetesh­war Pu­jara top-scored for the hosts with 78 and his 133-run sec­ond-wicket part­ner­ship with Mu­rali Vi­jay was the high­light of the in­nings.

New Zealand spin­ners Sant­ner and Ish Sodhi claimed two wick­ets each as Mark Craig chipped in with one.

Ear­lier Ashwin and Jadeja, shar­ing nine wick­ets between them, had put In­dia in con­trol on Septem­ber 24 af­ter bowl­ing out New Zealand for 262 in re­sponse to In­dia’s 318 in the first in­nings. –

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