India tightened their grip over the first Test match in Kanpur and look set for a big win over New Zealand after R Ashwin made an early burst of wickets in Black Caps chase of 434 runs to win the game. The visitors ended the day at 93/4, still 341 runs behind their target.
India declared its second innings at 377/5 at the stroke of Tea and with the first innings lead of 56 runs, set New Zealand a target of more than 400. Murali Vijay and Chesteshwar Pujara resumed the day for India but the former fell to Santner early in the day followed by another early dismissal of Virat Kohli who tried to sweep a wide ball from Mark Craig from outside off but managed to top edge it and was caught at deep square leg.
And then began the Ashwin show. Kohli introduced the off-spinner in the second over and he took no time to break the opening stand. Martin Guptill, who had played five dot balls, played a rash shot under pressure and was caught at silly-point. Two balls later, Tom Latham was on his way to the pavilion. Playing for spin, Latham lunged forward to defend but the ball held its line and moved into the left-hander, hitting him on the pads.
Williamson and Taylor decided to slow it down but Ashwin struck again. He claim his 200th Test wicket, the fastest Indian to reach the landmark, by getting the New Zealand captain LBW. Ashwin is the second fastest in the world to claim 200 wickets in just 37 Tests.
Taylor was run out with a direct throw from Umesh Yadav from deep mid-wicket after he kept his bat in the air instead of dragging it along the ground.
Ronchi and Santner shared an unbeaten stand of 56 runs for the fifth wicket to deny India any more wickets. New Zealand will resume on day five at 93/4 and try to deny India the win, which looks like an improbable task with Ashwin and Jadeja waiting to have go one final time in this Test.
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