Ajaz Patel takes historic 10-wicket haul at Wankhede; India bowl New Zealand out for 62.
Brief Scores: India 325 (Mayank Agarwal 150, Axar Patel 52, Ajaz Patel 10-119) & 69/0 (Mayank Agarwal 38, C Pujara 29) lead New Zealand 62 (Kyle Jamieson 17, R Ashwin 4-8, M Siraj 3-19) by 332 runs at Stumps on Day 2
After a decent performance from the home side, India, thanks to opener Mayank Agarwal’s century on the first day during the second Test in Mumbai against New Zealand, India eyed to bat long on the second day which could not only boost the scoreboard but also could keep track of time under the sun. With 10 overs to go before the new ball, fresh Kiwi bowlers looked to restrict the opposition under the 350-mark.
The Surface on Day 2
Although, both openers, Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal, scored runs on this track with ease, the surface was still very good for spin bowling. The ball had turned a lot on the previous day and with the pacers bowling, the footmarks had started to grow. The ball was spinning from the middle of track which makes it a nightmare for the batter and a sweet dream for the spinners.
The aim of being in the middle of both the overnight batters, Mayank Agarwal and Wriddhiman Saha failed as the latter found himself plumb LBW to Ajaz Patel, the Mumbai-born boy who went to New Zealand in childhood.
Ajaz Patel registered his name in the honours board with a 5-wicket haul. He didn't sit back as he dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin with a beautiful spinning ball; the ball was tossed up really slow in the air and the spin did the trick hitting the timber.
Although he was denied to pick up his hattrick, he already pushed the home side back. Axar Patel joined Agarwal in the middle and was playing sensibly with the odd boundaries coming from here and there till the drinks break as NZ opted for the new ball.
The second hour was all about building a nice partnership and steady the ship as most of the overs were not getting enough runs with just couple of boundaries coming till Lunch as Mayank Agarwal (146*) and Axar Patel (32*) left the field.
Ajaz Patel picks 10-fer before India stunned NZ to 38-6 at Tea; still 88-runs more to avoid follow-on
Soon After the lunch interval, the Karnataka opener reached another 150 in Test Cricket as he hit the prime NZ spinner for a four. Ajaz Patel took Agarwal and it was now 7-wickets for him; someone smelling something of Anil Kumble!
Axar Patel, on the other hand, looked to play bit more freely and reached his maiden Test fifty. The job was still cut out. The hot and humid conditions were creating problems for Ajaz Patel who had bowled 46 overs himself of the 106 overs bowled by NZ.
And out of nowhere he produced another wicket thanks to stand in captain, Tom Latham who took a review. He bowled one looping in the air to which Axar didn't offer a shot. Although NZ took the DRS, the faces weren't so sure. The replays showed the ball was smashing the middle stump and because Axar Patel didn't offer a shot, the impact didn't come in question.
Jayant Yadav suddenly watching number 10, Umesh Yadav, at the other end, went for a big shot but failed to execute it as he found long off in the mid road; 9-wickets for Ajaz Patel; can he join the elite list of Jim Laker and Anil Kumble?
Mumbai-Born Ajaz Patel makes it to elite list; picks 10 wicket in a Test innings
Last man, Mohammed Siraj came to bat as the opposition left-arm spinner looked to touch glory at his hometown, Mumbai. The second ball was a low full toss which fortunately taking the inside edge of the batter went through the legs and sped away to fine leg; so near but yet so far!
The next ball: Ajaz Patel bowled another ball looping in the air, the number 11 swung his willow and the ball ballooned in the air as Patel was looking at the fielder under it; it was Rachin Ravindra, who made no mistake in catching it.
New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel joined the likes of Jim Laker and Anil Kumble in taking all 10-wickets of a Test innings. The whole stadium as well as the opposition players were congratulating the man of the moment. His figure of 10/119 is also the best innings bowling figure by a visiting spinner in India beating Nathon Lyon’s 8/50.
All in all, India were folded up for 325 in the first innings.
Siraj provides early breakthroughs for India
India didn’t require to wait long as Mohammed Siraj drew first blood dismissing Will Young for 4; Virat Kohli in the slip corridor took a good catch. After being driven for a beautiful boundary in the same over, the Hyderabad pacer trapped Tom Latham to the short ball plan as the stand in Blackcaps captain found the throat of Shreyas Iyer at deep square leg. NZ in deep trouble at 15-2 in the 4th over.
The crowd were getting themselves in the game; the atmosphere was mouth-watering.
The Blackcaps were having no answer to Mohammed Siraj, who in his next over, dismissed Ross Taylor with an outstanding delivery; the ball pitched on a good length and nipped away a fraction but well enough to get rid of Taylor. The crowd were going absolutely wild as were the Indian players; New Zealand couldn’t play the Hyderabad pacer; they were pushed back to 17-3.
Unfortunately, he missed the hat-trick but had created enough problems for the Test champions.
Ashwin and Axar join the party
Axar Patel soon joined the party sending Dary Mitchell to the hut; the game was running at a rapid speed with the visitors now at 27-4. After warming up for almost 13 overs, Ravichandran Ashwin struck with his very first ball as visitors were found limping at 31-5.
Jayant Yadav spun Rachin Ravindra and got him caught at slip as players took Tea with the Kiwis on 38-6.
Impressive Indian bowling packs NZ for 62, ahead by 332-runs at Stumps on Day-2
The start of the last session wasn’t an ideal one at all for NZ. After few boundaries here and there, Ashwin got the better of wicketkeeper-batter Tom Blundell as the ball spun and found its way to Pujara who grabbed it at leg slip. Two balls later, Tim Southee edged one and substitute fielder Surya Kumar Yadav took a diving catch; Blackcaps were at 53-8, still 73 runs more to avoid follow on.
William Somerville, who played a crucial role in saving the Kanpur Test, after being patient for 25 balls, went for a big drive but found Siraj at mid-on; still long way to go for NZ. Lastly, Axar dismissed Jamieson to bundle out the Blackcaps for 62 which is their lowest Test total against India. Quite surprisingly, India didn’t opt for the follow-on even with a lead of 263 runs.
Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara opened the innings because Shubman Gill was injured and off the field for quite some time. One can feel for the tired Ajaz Patel, who bowled 47.5-overs out of 109.5 overs in India’s first innings, have around a one-hour break, coming in to bat in the midway and here he was again in his bowling shoes.
The home side started well scoring at 3-runs per over. The ball was spinning but the tired fingers hadn’t got the energy. They even didn’t go for the DRS against Pujara when the replays showed three reds. Before the last drinks of the day, India reached 50-0.
Mayank was slowly getting into the aggressive mode hitting fours dancing down the ground. Both Indian openers left the field with India at 69/0 with a lead of 332 runs.
What to Expect on Day Two
India will look to add more runs on the board and bat till around Tea tomorrow afternoon before giving the tired New Zealand batters some chance to bat whereas the visitors will look to restrict India again as early as possible; but with three days being left in this Test, no prizes for guessing who is sitting in the driver’s seat.
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