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India in driver’s seat as Ashwin rips through Kiwis top-order

India's Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after dismissing South Africa's Dean Elgar (not pictured) during the second day of their first cricket test match, in Mohali, India, November 6, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
India's Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after dismissing South Africa's Dean Elgar (not pictured) during the second day of their first cricket test match, in Mohali, India, November 6, 2015. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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)

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