Mumbai, Dec 5 India were closing in on a memorable win in the second and final Test, reducing New Zealand to 140/5 in 45 overs, the visitors still needing 440 runs to save the match on the third day of the match at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday.
Ravichandran Ashwin claimed three wickets for 27 runs as India pushed for a famous victory in a match in which New Zealand’s left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel claimed 14-225, the best figures by any bowler against India.
Daryl Mitchell struck a defiant half-century and added 73 runs for the fourth wicket with Henry Nicholls (36 not out) to delay the inevitable. At stumps on Day 3, Rachin Ravindra was keeping Nicholls company, with two runs against his name.
Earlier, India declared their second innings at 276 for 7 in 70 overs just before tea on the third day, setting New Zealand a target of 540.
Mayank Agarwal scored 62 and shared a century partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara while Shubman Gill (47) and Virat Kohli (36) added 82 runs for the third wicket as India went searching for runs. Axar Patel blasted an unbeaten 41 runs off 26 balls as India declared at 276/7.
Ajaz Patel, who on Saturday claimed a historic 10 wickets in an innings, was the best New Zealand bowler on the day as he claimed 4-106 in the second innings for an overall match haul of 14-225 — the best figures by any bowler against India. The previous best was 13/106 by Ian Botham of England at the Wankhede Stadium in 1980.
Brief scores: India 325 & 276/7 in 70 overs (Mayank Agarwal 62, Cheteshwar Pujara 47, Shubman Gill 47, Virat Kohli 36, Axar Patel 41 not out; Ajaz Patel 4-106, Rachin Ravindra 3-56) v New Zealand 62 & 140/5 in 45 overs (Daryl Mitchell 60, Henry Nicholls 36 not out; R Ashwin 3-27, Axar Patel 1-42).