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Spinners put India on top as New Zealand top order collapses

PTI 24 Aug 2012, 17:50:49 PM IST
Hyderabad, Aug 24: Indian spinners R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha took full advantage of a spinning track to rip through New Zealand's top order and put India in the driver's seat after the second day of their opening Test here today.

In conditions best suited for spinners, Ashwin and Ojha got into the act straightaway to reduce New Zealand to a precarious 106 for five in reply to India's first innings total of 438, largely built around Cheteshwar Puajara's 159.

The Kiwis still need 133 runs to avoid the follow on with five wickets in hand and seemed headed for a big defeat with three days left in the match.

After Ojha gave the first breakthrough dismissing an aggressive-looking Brendon McCullum, Ashwin rocked the Kiwis with two wickets from his first two overs. McCullum scored 22 off 27 balls with three boundaries.

Ashwin continued his terrific spell with a third wicket in his fifth over to have the Black Caps reeling at 55 for four as his superb first spell figures read 12-3-28-3. Ojha finished the day with two for 30 to show for his efforts.

Just when New Zealand were looking to build a partnership Ojha broke a 44-run fifth wicket partnership between Kane Williamson and James Franklin by dismissing the former.  Williamson scored 32 before returning to the pavilion.

At stumps after the second day's proceedings, New Zealand trail India by 332 runs with James Franklin batting on 31 from 75 balls with a four and a six while wicketkeeper-batsman Krug van Wyk was yet to open his account after having faced six balls.

Earlier, India's forst innings ended on 438 with Pujara contributing 159 and adding 127 runs for the sixth wicket with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who chipped in with an useful 73.