Kanpur [India]: Indian batsmen showcased a brilliant performance before spinner Ravichandran Ashwin stepped in to help the home side hold a commanding 341-run lead over New Zealand at the close of day four of the opening Test match at Green Park here on Sunday.
Resuming at their yesterday’s score of 159-1, opener Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara continued to anchor their side’s innings as they shared a huge 133-run partnership for second wicket before getting dismissed at their respective scores of 76 and 78.
Ajinkya Rahane then struck a crucial 41 runs while Rohit Sharma (68) and Ravindra Jadeja (50) shared an unbeaten 100-run stand as India declared their second innings at 377-5, setting New Zealand a target of 434 runs with four sessions remaining in the match.
Subsequently, spinner Ashwin tore apart New Zealand’s top-order as he grabbed three wickets in a 13-over new-ball spell.
In the process, he also became the second-quickest bowler to reach 200 Test-wicket landmark in the history of the game.
At stumps, New Zealand were at 93-4 in their second innings, with Luke Ronchi and Mitchell Santner batting at their respective scores of 38 and eight.
New Zealand will need to complete the highest-ever successful chase in order to win the Kanpur Test. West Indies had earlier set the record by chasing 418 against Australia in Antigua in 2003. (ANI)