The spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin exploited a turning track to the fullest to bundle out New Zealand for 262 as India took firm control of the first cricket Test by extending their overall lead to 215 in Kanpur on Saturday.
Jadeja (5/73) dismissed three batsmen in one over for a five-wicket haul while R Ashwin (4/93) grabbed four wickets as the Indians spun out New Zealand early into the second session.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 24, 2016
At draw of stumps, India were 159/1 in their second innings which gave them an overall lead of 215. India lost KL Rahul (38) before Murali Vijay (64) and Cheteshwar Pujara (50) scored briskly to put the hosts in command.
New Zealand had started the day at a strong 152 for one but lost four wickets in the morning session. Their last five batsmen were dismissed for just 24 runs in the second session as Indian spinners ruled the roost.
While the Kiwis struggled to negotiate spin on a deteriorating track, the Indians were hardly troubled in their second innings with Pujara and Vijay going for their shots.
The Kiwi bowlers toiled without success post tea as Vijay and Pujara raised an unbeaten 107-run stand for the second wicket, scoring all these runs in the last session.
Vijay’s knock came off 152 balls with seven shots to the ropes and one over it while Pujara struck eight boundaries in his 80-ball stay so far.
It was this pair of Pujara and Vijay that had troubled the visitors with their resolute half-centuries in the first innings as well.
Leg-break bowler Ish Sodhi had Rahul caught at first slip in the fag end of extended second session. The umpires called for tea break, immediately after Rahul’s wicket.
After starting the day in position of strength the New Zealanders could add only 100 runs to their overnight total with Ashwin and Jadeja exposing visitors’ shortcomings in handling spin.
The Indians too had faltered in their first innings from being 154 for one to 318 all out.
Jadeja ran through the lower order in the post-lunch session by dismissing Mark Craig (2), Ish Sodhi (0) and Trent Boult (0) and Ashwin closed the innings by catching BJ Watling (21) in his follow through as the Kiwis lost last five wickets for just 24 runs in 10.5 overs.
The Indian spinners had started the rot by taking three wickets in the space of 24 balls in the morning session when Ashwin removed both the overnight batsmen — Tom Latham (58) and captain Kane Williamson (75) — and Jadeja got rid of danger man Ross Taylor for a duck.