India take charge after New Zealand meltdown in Kanpur

News Hour:

Spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin made the most of a turning pitch in Kanpur to rip through New Zealand as India racked up a commanding 215-run lead on day three of the first test on Saturday.

Jadeja claimed his fifth five-wicket haul in tests and Ashwin dismissed four frontline batsmen as New Zealand squandered a strong start, losing their last five wickets for seven runs to be all out for 262 and concede a 56-run first- innings lead.

India scored freely to consolidate their position in the first match of the three-test series, reaching 159 for one at stumps with Murali Vijay (64) and Cheteshwar Pujara (50) at the crease.

Opener Lokesh Rahul (38) fell to Ish Sodhi just before tea, but Vijay and Pujara registered their second individual fifties of the match.


The pair added 107 runs for the second wicket and never looked in trouble against New Zealand’s three-pronged spin attack, cutting with control and pulling with panache.

“The four wickets that fell in the morning session was the real game-changer,” Jadeja told reporters.

“On a turning track, whenever a new batsman walks in and discovers footmarks, it normally unsettles him. He can’t defend confidently.

“All we needed was one wicket and luckily in the morning, Ashwin got that lbw (against Tom Latham) and wickets started tumbling.”

Home captain Virat Kohli opted for spin from both ends to start the third day and New Zealand were soon robbed of the slight advantage they held after resuming on 152 for one in reply to India’s 318.

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