Ashwin stars as dominant India close in on series win over Black Caps

By Sports Desk December 05, 2021

Ravichandran Ashwin struck three times as India closed in on a series victory after Ajaz Patel claimed New Zealand's second-best Test match figures on day three at the Wankhede Stadium.

India declared on 276-7 in Mumbai on Sunday to set the Black Caps a highly improbable 540 to win, and the tourists are facing a crushing defeat in the second and final Test of the series after closing on 140-5.

Patel became only the third bowler to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings on day two and the New Zealand spinner finished with incredible match figures of 14-225, surpassing Ian Botham's 13-106 in Mumbai in 1989 as the best taken against India.

It was very much India's day once again, though, after Mayank Agarwal top scored with 62, having made a magnificent century in the first innings.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill made 47 apiece, while captain Virat Kohli chipped in with 36 before Axar Patel smashed an unbeaten 41 off 26 deliveries.

Ashwin (3-27) came to the fore yet again on a challenging surface after Kohli declared late in the afternoon session, removing openers Tom Latham and Will Young before sending Ross Taylor on his way.

Daryl Mitchell (60) played with great assurance as New Zealand moved beyond their embarrassing first-innings total off 62 all out until he holed out off the bowling of Axar and Tom Blundell was run out for a duck.

Henry Nicholls batted with admirable patience and was still there on 36 at stumps, but India are on the brink of gaining a measure of revenge for their defeat in the inaugural World Test Championship final.

 

Patel only second to Hadlee

Spinner Patel shot to prominence with his astonishing display with the ball in his city of birth on Saturday.

The 33-year-old tweaker's one-man show continued when he dismissed Agarwal and Pujara before Rachin Ravindra (3-56) became the first Black Caps bowler other than Patel to take a wicket in the match, Gill the man to become his first Test victim.

Only Richard Hadlee has claimed better match figures for New Zealand than Patel, when the legendary all-rounder took 15-123 against Australia in November 1985.


Ashwin ending memorable year on a high note

It has been an outstanding year for Ashwin, who followed up his devastating first-innings exploits by reaching the 50-wicket landmark for 2021.

The wily Ashwin took 4-8 on day two and the New Zealand batsmen struggled to read him once again, Latham pinned lbw before Young was caught at short leg and Taylor's positive approach did not pay off when he was taken by Pujara.

Mitchell and Nicholls made a fight out it in a stand of 73, but Ashwin looks poised to take yet another five-wicket haul with two days remaining.

Related items

  • Australian Open: She can hit you off the court – Barty wary of Giorgi Australian Open: She can hit you off the court – Barty wary of Giorgi

    World number one Ash Barty is wary of Camila Giorgi's ability to "hit you off the court" ahead of their meeting at the Australian Open.

    Barty crushed Lucia Bronzetti 6-1 6-1 in the second round on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday.

    The Australian has lost just three games in the opening two rounds at Melbourne Park, where she is bidding to win her third grand slam title.

    Another Italian, 30th seed Giorgi, awaits in the third round and Barty is wary of the hard-hitting 30-year-old.

    "Some very different challenges to what I've had the last couple matches. She has the ability to hold baseline, to control the centre of the court, be super, super aggressive off her serve and first shot, particularly off her return," she said.

    "It's going to be a match where I'm going to have to serve well, bring in variety, make sure I can cover the court, neutralise the best that I can. She has the ability to hit you off the court without realising it's happening.

    "I think it's going to be another match with some fresh challenges. But having played her before, she kind of knows my game, I kind of know hers. It's about going out there and trying to do it as good as I can."

    In three previous meetings with Giorgi, Barty has never lost, although the most recent of those came at the 2018 Australian Open.

    Barty has been in impressive form so far in Melbourne and was pleased with her performance against Bronzetti.

    "Yeah, I felt good. I felt like I wanted to try to use my experience a little bit today, get off to a quick start. I felt like I was able to do that," she said.

    "I served well. I was able to find plenty of forehands and control the match quite well, so pleased with that one."

  • Australian Open: Nadal stays on track in Melbourne Australian Open: Nadal stays on track in Melbourne

    Rafael Nadal remains on track for a record-breaking 21st grand slam title after getting past Yannick Hanfmann at the Australian Open.

    Nadal, bidding to become the outright record holder for the most majors won by a man, was too good for Hanfmann in a 6-2 6-3 6-4 victory in the second round on Wednesday.

    The Spanish star had won his only previous meeting with the German – at the French Open in 2019 – and proved too strong on Rod Laver Arena.

    Nadal will face either Russian 28th seed Karen Khachanov or Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi in the third round.

    Hanfmann held his own early, but Nadal landed the first break in the sixth game, a backhand winner down the line followed by a volley to give him a 4-2 lead.

    A break point went begging for Hanfmann in the next game and Nadal punished him, a tremendous backhand winner down the line clinching the set.

    Just as the sixth game looked set to be Hanfmann's undoing again, the German saved a break point and held for 3-3.

    But a pair of forehand winners would give Nadal a 5-3 lead on his way to taking the second set.

    The contest looked over as Nadal broke for 2-1 in the third set when Hanfmann sent a forehand long to end a 22-shot rally.

    And that proved to be the case, Nadal digging out of a 0-30 hole in the eighth game – and jumping in celebration – before closing out his win with another tough hold.

     

    DATA SLAM: Nadal's second-round perfection in Melbourne intact

    Nadal has never lost in the Australian Open second round.

    He improved that record to 16-0 with the win over Hanfmann. Only once in his career has the 2009 champion bowed out before the third round in Melbourne – losing to Fernando Verdasco in his opener in 2016.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Nadal – 30/26
    Hanfmann – 30/32

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Nadal – 1/5
    Hanfmann – 5/1

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Nadal – 4/16
    Hanfmann – 0/2

  • Rose 'angry' after Dortmund blow chance at title with shock DFB-Pokal exit Rose 'angry' after Dortmund blow chance at title with shock DFB-Pokal exit

    Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose admits he is "angry" after his side spurned a golden opportunity to win a title after crashing out of the DFB-Pokal 2-1 to St Pauli on Tuesday.

    DFB-Pokal holders Dortmund conceded twice in the first half before Erling Haaland pulled back a 58th minute penalty but they could not find an equalizer in the last-16 clash.

    The defeat means for the first time since 2006-07, neither Dortmund or Bayern Munich will contend in the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals, with Rose admitting it was a major missed opportunity.

    "I'm just angry. The cup is a chance for a title and we're generally in good shape," Rose told Sky. "Then we just give the game away in the first 10 minutes.

    "The fact that you then get into problems with the ground and the strong opponent under the conditions is inexplicable and cannot be excused."

    Dortmund had come into the DFB-Pokal game fresh from beating SC Freiburg 5-1 in the Bundesliga on Friday, as well as coming from behind to win 3-2 over Eintracht Frankfurt.

    "It's a pity and a bit stupid of us that after a top performance against Freiburg and the game we played in Frankfurt, we didn't do it again," Rose said.

    "Unfortunately, we are again confirming a few things that have been held up to us in the last few weeks, months and years. It's just our fault.

    "The end pisses me off because it was a chance for a title and we're just giving the game away."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.