Ashwin burst leaves India five wickets from series win over NZ

New Zealand close day three of second Test on 140-5 after being set 540 to win by India; Black Caps spinner Ajaz Patel finishes with 14 wickets in the match, with his figures the best in a Test against India, beating Sir Ian Botham’s 13-106 in 1980

Last Updated: 05/12/21 12:49pm

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin struck three times on day three of the second and final Test against New Zealand

India are five wickets away from completing a series win over New Zealand after spinner Ravichandran Ashwin starred on day three of the second and final Test in Mumbai.

Ashwin’s three-wicket haul left the Black Caps 140-5 at stumps in pursuit of an improbable 540 for victory, with the off-spinner dismissing Tom Latham (6), Will Young (20) and Ross Taylor (6).

Axar Patel accounted for Daryl Mitchell (60) near to the close before Tom Blundell was run out for a duck after a mix-up with Henry Nicholls (36 not out).

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New Zealand – who battled to a draw with India in the first Test – were set 540 to win the second after the hosts declared on 276-7 in their second innings at Wankhede Stadium.

The Black Caps have now more than doubled their paltry first-innings score of 62 but still require 400 more runs to win or to bat out two days to deny India – the side they beat to win the World Test Championship at The Ageas Bowl in June.

Ashwin had reduced New Zealand to 55-3 by pinning Latham lbw, having Young caught at short leg after a successful review and then forcing Taylor to slash to leg-slip on the slog-sweep.

Mitchell and Nicholls rallied their side with a fourth-wicket partnership of 73, only for Mitchell to then swat Axar straight to deep cover one ball after striking the left-arm spinner for six.

New Zealand’s woes were compounded by Blundell’s run out, leaving Rachin Ravindra (2no) with Nicholls at stumps.

Ajaz Patel took all 10 wickets in India’s first innings and four in their second

Ajaz Patel’s heroics with the ball for New Zealand look almost certain to come in a losing cause.

The left-arm spinner became the third bowler in Test history, after Anil Kumble and Jim Laker, to take 10 wickets in a Test innings, a feat he clinched on day three in Mumbai.

The 33-year-old, who was born in Mumbai before emigrating with his family at the age of eight, bagged match figures of 14-225, the best bowling figures against India in Test cricket.

Patel’s haul surpassed England all-rounder Ian Botham’s 13-106 at the same venue in 1980 as he claimed 4-106 in India’s second innings on Sunday.

Mayank Agarwal has scored 150 and 62 in the Mumbai Test

Patel dismissed Mayank Agarwal, who followed up his first-innings 150 with 62, as well as Cheteshwar Pujara (47), Shreyas Iyer (14) and Jayant Yadav (6).

Ravindra (3-56) – the only other New Zealand bowler bar Patel to strike in the match – removed Virat Kohli (36), Shubman Gill (47) and Wriddhiman Saha (14).

Axar was left unbeaten on 41 from 26 balls for India, with the all-rounder slamming four sixes and three fours in an enterprising knock.

Watch day four of the second Test between India and New Zealand, in Mumbai, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 3.50am on Monday.

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