Ravichandran Ashwin brings India back in the game – 2nd Test

New Zealand 365 and 9-232 (James Franklin 41, Ross Taylor 35, Ravichandran Ashwin 5-69) lead India 353 (Virat Kohli 103, MS Dhoni 62, Tim Southee 7-64) by 244 runs

Ravichandran Ashwin produced another match winning spell which brought India in the position of a clean sweep in the two Test series vs. visiting New Zealand.

New Zealand piled up 365 runs in the first innings followed by 232 in the second and secured an overall lead of 244 while India responded well by scoring 353 runs in their first innings.

Ravichandran Ashwin - Another match winning performance
Ravichandran Ashwin – Another match winning performance

The third day’s play concluded on Sunday, September 2, 2012, at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore.

Earlier, India started the day at 5-283 in 78 overs, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni were unbeaten on 93 and 46 runs respectively. Dhoni completed his 26th Test fifty on the first ball of the 81st over with a four and Kohli smashed his first Test ton in India and second in Test cricket on the last ball of the over by getting a four as well. The Black Caps got the first victim of the day when Virat Kohli was declared leg before wicket off Tim Southee for 103 off 193 balls with 1 six and 14 fours.

Dhoni opted for attack and dispatched a couple of fours in the 85th over but was unable to continue as Tim Southee got him lbw for 62 off 94 deliveries with 2 sixes and 8 fours. Ravichandran Ashwin provided some resistance by scoring 32 runs as the entire Indian side was bowled out for 353 in 96.5 overs.

Tim Southee excelled with the ball and grabbed his career best figures of 7-64 runs, Doug Bracewell held two and Trent Boult claimed one wicket.

New Zealand initiated their second innings reasonably well as their openers, Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill looked hungry for runs. They gathered 12 runs in the first two overs followed by 11 in the third and reached 29 from five overs at lunch interval. Umesh Yadav struck on the third ball after the interval when Guptill was clean bowled for seven runs. Yadav removed McCullum on the first ball of the 8th over for 23 and the Kiwis lost their second wicket for 31 runs.

Kane Williamson and the skipper, Ross Taylor, joined together at the crease and tried to consolidate the innings. The score board kept ticking with odd boundaries and the total was taken to 69 as Williamson was gone for 13 runs. Daniel Flynn came in next, associated with Taylor and the flow of runs was enhanced. They accumulated 13 runs with three boundaries and Flynn was the most fluent by sending the ball out of the fence regularly. Taylor became the next victim for 35 as the scoreboard displayed 111 runs when James Franklin walked in the centre next.

Flynn and Franklin remained watchful, they added another 12 runs in 6.5 overs and the score reached 123 in 35 overs when tea was taken. The fifth wicket partnership contributed 29 runs and ended when Daniel Flynn was caught by Virender Sehwag at first slip off Ashwin for 31. Kruger van Wyk took guards in the centre at a critical stage of the match and started playing positive cricket with James Franklin.

The duo posted on board fifty runs partnership for the sixth wicket in the 54th over as Kruger van Wyk was gone at 195 after scoring 31 runs. The middle order batting of the Black Caps took a start but was unable to capitalise on that and lost their wickets when they looked settled for a big score. Their last recognised batsman, James Franklin, was stumped smartly by the wicketkeeper, MS Dhoni, off Ravichandran Ashwin for 41.

New Zealand scored 232 for the loss of nine wickets in 69 overs at stumps on day three. Jeetan Patel was at the crease with 10 and Trent Boult had yet to open his account and the visitors have an overall lead of 244 runs.

Ravichandran Ashwin was the main destructor with five wickets whereas Umesh Yadav and Pragyan Ojha shared two wickets each.

India has bounced back in the match and has the ability to get the last wicket of the visitors early on the fourth day. The home side looks like being in command at the moment keeping in view their solid batting but New Zealand bowling could surprise them as well.


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