Kiwi spinner Ajaz get 14-for, but India is close to victory


India need another five wickets to win the second Test as New Zealand chases an unlikely 540 despite Mumbai-born Ajaz Patel returning the Kiwis a record of 14-225 on Sunday.

New Zealand finished third day 140-5 after the hosts declared their second innings after left-wing spinner Ajaz, who took 10 wickets in one innings, scored the best match numbers of a bowler against India.

The best so far was the English fast bowler Ian Botham with 13-106 in Mumbai in 1980. Henry Nicholls (36) and Rachin Ravindra (two) fought after Indian weirdos Ravichandran Ashwin (3-27) and Axar Patel shook the New Zealand top order.

Ashwin first beat substitute skipper Tom Latham's wicket for 10 and then defeated Will Young and Ross Taylor in consecutive overs. Daryl Mitchell resisted, lifting his third Test fifty with a limit off fast bowler Umesh Yadav. He put on 73 runs with Nicholls for the fourth wicket.

Mitchell eventually fell on Axar's left turn and wicketkeeper batsman Tom Blundell was blank when a loud home crowd roared.

Ajaz had previously extended his bowling show for New Zealand when Ravindra joined his spinner colleague for three wickets, including Shubman Gill, 47, and skipper Virat Kohli, 36. Axar hit an unbeaten 41 before India dropped their innings at 276-7 in the second session, with New Zealand already having a wicket with tee behind them.

Overnight, batsmen Mayank Agarwal (62) and Cheteshwar Pujara (47) made 107 runs to attack their opponents in the first hour of the game. Agarwal, who made 150 in India's first 325 innings, hit fifty with a six ahead of Ajaz and followed him with another limit to signal his intention to attack.

It eventually fell to Ajaz, who has been bowling almost unchanged since his end in the morning session after another attempt to get the big throw caught him in the distance. Pujara, who met Ajaz in the early morning for two consecutive borders, was denied his fifty after being caught slipping.

Read More | Ajaz's perfect 10 will open doors for more Asian players - Dipak Patel

Ajaz, 33, returned 10-119 on day two of India's first innings to emulate England's Jim Laker and Indian spin legend Anil Kumble for 10 wickets in one innings. Ajaz, who moved to Auckland with his parents in 1996, made his debut for New Zealand at the age of 30 in 2018 and is playing his 11th game.

New Zealand's batting numbers slumped to 62 in the final session on Saturday, leaving India behind by a 263 lead.