Ashwin puts India on course for series win

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Dec 6 2021
Sports Ashwin puts India on course for series win

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin struck three early blows to put the hosts on course for a seriesclinching victory against New Zealand in the second and final Test at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday. The hosts were five wickets away from a 1-0 series victory with New Zealand reaching 140 for five at close of play on day three, chasing an improbable target of 540 and with two days still remaining. 

It was a much better showing with the bat from the world Test champions who managed only 62 in their first innings in reply to India’s 325 on a pitch offering plenty of assistance to the spin bowlers. Ashwin, third on the list of most successful Indian Test bowlers with 426 scalps, dismissed stand-in captain Tom Latham lbw before the players left the field early for the tea interval due to a technical problem with the Spidercam. 

The wily 35-year-old returned to send back Will Young and Ross Taylor in the final session to reduce New Zealand to 55 for three. Daryl Mitchell and Henry Nicholls kept India at bay with a stand of 73 before left-arm spinner Axar Patel separated them by dismissing the former for an attacking 60. The touring side’s problems were compounded when wicketkeeper-batter Tom Blundell had a brain fade moment and was run out without scoring. Nicholls survived nervous moments but remained unbeaten on 36 with Rachin Ravindra two not out at the close. 

Brief Scores: 

India 325 & 276/7 (Mayank Agarwal 62, C Pujara 47; Ajaz Patel 4-106, Rachin Ravindra 3-56) 

New Zealand 62 and 140/5 (Daryl Mitchell 60, Ashwin 3-27)

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Dec 6 2021

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