India set for big win against New Zealand in 2nd Test at Mumbai

unnamed (4)
Virat Kohli scored 36 for India in the second innings

India continued to dominate New Zealand in the second and final Test match being played at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, on Sunday. After setting a huge total of 540 runs for New Zealand to win, India reduced the visiting side to a total of 140/5 at stumps on the third day, and they are set for recording a big victory unless the Kiwis come up with something magical with the bat in the remaining two days of the match.

The hero of Kanpur Test, Rachin Ravindra, who helped New Zealand to force a draw in fading light, was at the crease battling on 2 from 23 balls in the company of Henry Nicholls, who reached 36 from 86 balls with five boundaries at stumps on the third day. New Zealand still needed another 400 runs to clinch a win in the match as well as in the series, which now looks improbable as they have lost a major chunk of their batting firepower.

The Kiwi batting line-up once again faltered against India’s spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin, who returned with figures of 17-7-27-3 on the third day, taking the wickets of Tom Latham (6), Will Young (20) and Ross Taylor (6). The left-arm India pacer spinner Akshar Patel took the wicket of Daryl Mitchell whereas Tom Blundell both in and out after an excellent piece of fielding from substitute fielder KS Bharat.

Mitchell played a fine knock to make 60 from 92 balls in which he hit seven boundaries and two sixes.

Earlier in the day, India declared their second innings at 276/7 after Mayank Agarwal scored 62 while Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill scored 47 each. India captain Virat Kohli looked good in the middle with the bat but he was unfortunate to have played one on to his wickets to be dismissed for 36, which came from 84 balls with one boundary and a six. 

Pujara faced 97 balls to make 47 with the help of six boundaries and one six whereas Gill consumed 75 balls and hit four boundaries and one six to make 47 as well. Towards the end of the Indian innings, all-rounder Akshar Patel contributed with a rapid 41 not out from 26 balls, which was studded with four sixes and three boundaries.

New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel continued to claim wickets as he accounted for both the Indian openers Agarwal and Pujara. Ravindra then chipped in to dismiss Gill and Kohli along with Wriddhiman Saha, who made 13. Patel also went on to take two more wickets in the form of Shreyas Iyer (14) and Jayant Yadav (6).

India had taken a huge lead of 263 runs in the first innings after New Zealand were bowled out for only 62 in reply to the home team’s first innings total of 325. New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel created history when he claimed all 10 wickets in the innings, becoming the third bowler to do so after England’s Jim Laker and India’s former captain Anil Kumble.