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Jadeja and Ashwin shine as India dominate Day 3

Last updated on: September 24, 2016 17:28 IST

IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja, centre, celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of Mark Craig. Photograph: BCCI

The spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin exploited a turning track to the fullest to bundle out New Zealand for 262 as India took firm control of the first Test by extending their overall lead to 215 at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur, on Saturday.

- Scorecard

Jadeja, who took five for 73, dismissed three batsmen in one over to polish off the Kiwi lower order, while Ashwin claimed four for 93 to help India make a good comeback on the third day.

At stumps on Day 3, India were sitting pretty on 159 for one in their second innings for an overall lead of 215.

Opener KL Rahul scored a brisk 38 before he was caught in the slips off Ish Sodhi but Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara continued their good form, with both hitting their second half-centuries of the match, to put the hosts in command.

Murali Vijay

IMAGE: India opener Murali Vijay in action on Day 3. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, 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 in the post-tea session 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.

IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin, right, celebrates with Virat Kohli after taking the wicket of Tom Latham, on Day 3 of the first Test in Kanpur. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, 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 own follow through as the Kiwis lost their 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.

Luke Ronchi (38), who had warmed up for the series with a century in the Delhi practice game, went about his business fearlessly as he took the fight to the rival camp.

He drove and cut Ashwin to boundary ropes with confidence and steadied the Kiwi innings along with Mitchell Santner (32), who was sent ahead of much-experienced BJ Watling. They added 49 runs for the fifth wicket before Jadeja trapped Ronchi with a full delivery. Ronchi, who hit six boundaries in his 83-ball innings, tried to play the sweep but missed and was given out leg before wicket.

Ashwin bagged the wicket of Mitchell Santner (32), getting him caught behind by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.

Jadeja was on verge of a hat-trick with wickets of Craig and Sodhi in successive balls but Boult denied him the milestone before handing a catch to forward short-leg fielder off the last ball of the over.

IMAGE: Kane Williamson is bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin. Photograph: BCCI

Ashwin provided India the first breakthrough by trapping Latham in the fifth over of the day. It was a straight ball that struck the pads of Latham, who lunged forward to defend but played down the wrong line to end a 124-run stand for the second wicket with Williamson.

The Kiwis had hardly settled when Jadeja, who was getting good turn and bounce, sent back Taylor, who also tried to defend on the frontfoot but was caught in line.

After two quick blows, the Kiwis needed Williamson to stay but Ashwin saw the back of rival captain with a peach of a delivery that turned sharply from outside off to hit the stumps.

Ashwin and Jadeja had bowled testing 10 overs in tandem when India captain Virat Kohli brought part-timer Murali Vijay into the attack to bowl his off-breaks, replacing Jadeja.

Perhaps the rationale behind the move was that New Zealanders' footwork was cagey against off-spin and a left-hander in Santner was also at the crease.

However, the pressure, which was created by Ashwin and Jadeja was released. Further, introduction of paceman Umesh Yadav into the attack brought relief for the visitors, since handling the pace was much easier than the spin.

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