Bangalore, Sep 2: R Ashwin continued to torment New Zealand batsmen. He grabbed another five-wicket haul, fifth in eight Tests, to push India towards a clean sweep of the series on the third day of the second and final Test on Sunday.
The tall offspinner's 5/69 has kept New Zealand to 232/9 in their second innings. An overall lead of 244 and two days remaining, it is advantage India. Ashwin had taken a career best 12/85 in the first Test in Hyderabad. Now, he has 49 Test scalps in eight.
It was an interesting contest on the third day at the M Chinnswamy Stadium where 14 wickets fell. It was an excellent Test match wicket and Tim Southee and Indian spinners shone after Virat Kohli hit his second Test ton.
Post-lunch, in two sessions, India accounted for nine Kiwi batsmen. Umesh Yadav started off the second session on a high when he had Martin Guptill bowled in the first over. He added Brendon McCullum in his next as the visitors lost two wickets for one run.
After that, it was Ashwin-Ojha combination which took over. Ojha bowled a tight spell, conceding 48 in his 20 overs for two wickets. With few cracks widening on the pitch, Ashwin had turn and bounce to leave New Zealand in trouble at 140/5. Captain Ross Taylor was again out LBW to Ojha for the second time in the match attempting a sweep-shot.
But wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk (31) and James Franklin (41) put on 55 runs for the sixth wicket. That impressive stand was ended by Ashwin, trapping Van Wyk LBW. From 195/6, Kiwis fell to 222/9 in 66.1 overs. The last pair of Jeetan Patel and Trent Boult safely negotiated the remaining 2.5 overs.
Tea Report: New Zealand 123/4
The fortunes kept swinging here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday. After Tim Southee's seven-wicket haul had given New Zealand a slender 12-run lead, India bounced back to sit in an advantageous position at tea, reducing the visitors to 123/4 in 35 overs, an overall lead of 135.
New Zealand captain Ross Taylor was also back in the pavilion, being trapped by Pragyan Ojha for the second time in the match while attempting a sweep shot. After lunch, it was Umesh Yadav who set New Zealand back but removing both openers Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill.
Lunch Report: Southee takes seven
Armed with the second new ball this morning, New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee destroyed India's lower order to give his team a slender lead. Before Southee's career-best haul, Virat Kohli had struck his second Test hundred. India were 353 all out in 96.5 overs, giving the visitors a 12-run advantage. At lunch, New Zealand were 29/0 in five overs.
Southee took four wickets in his eight-over spell with the new ball. He had figures of 8-2-28-4. In all, he bowled nine overs today, one with the old ball.
India's last pair of R Ashwin and Umesh Yadav added 33 runs. Today, India batted 18.5 overs for 70/5.
Captain MS Dhoni fell after reaching his half century while Kohli was dismissed for 103. Both batsmen were consumed by Southee.
Southee, the most impressive bowler on second day, continued his good work. He had done the same with the new ball on the second day. And it was no different today.
The 23-year-old right-arm bowler, player in his 19th Test, made the best use of the pitch.
Virat Kohli completed his second Test century here on the third day of Bangalore Test against New Zealand. Kohli reached 100 with a flick to square-leg boundary off Trent Boult. Soon, he was dismissed for 103, LBW by Tim Southee. Captain MS Dhoni completed his half century.
Earlier, India, trailing by 82 runs in the first innings against New Zealand, resumed batting on the third day of the second Test here on Sunday. Bright sunshine greeted players and fans.
India finished the second day on 283/5. Virat Kohli is batting on 93 while captain MS Dhoni is unbeaten on 46. New Zealand will have the option of taking the second new ball after two overs into day's play.
On the second day, the visitors' fast bowlers were impressive, backed up by exceptional ground fielding. Tim Southee had three wickets on Saturday.
India won the first Test in Hyderabad by an innings and 115 runs.