Ashwin grabs career-best 6-31; NZ out for 159

India captain Dhoni enforces follow-on

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin grabbed a career-best 6-31 to help bowl out New Zealand for 159 at the stroke of lunch on Saturday's third day of the first test.

Ashwin, whose previous best was 6-47 against the West Indies in his debut test at New Delhi last year, took three wickets in the day's opening session as New Zealand failed to avoid the follow-on after India had scored 438 in its first innings.

Left-hander James Franklin remained not out on 43 off 142 balls with one four and one six, but was left helpless as he saw wickets fall regularly.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to enforce the follow-on, due to time already lost and with more rain predicted.

The visitors were 41 for one in their second innings, still trailing India by 238 runs, before heavy rain forced play to be called off for the rest of the day.

Brendon McCullum (16) and Kane Williamson (three) were at the crease for the visitors.
Only 37.3 overs could be bowled on Saturday after play started an hour late due to morning showers leaving the outfield damp.

New Zealand, resuming on 106 for five, lost a wicket in the second over of the day when Umesh Yadav picked up the only wicket by a paceman in the innings by dismissing Kruger van Wyk for a duck.

Ojha added the wicket of Doug Bracewell (17) to his overnight tally of two before Ashwin was brought into the attack by captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Ashwin, who took three wickets on Friday, wasted no time and took a low return catch to dismiss Jeetan Patel in his first over of the day for his fourth wicket in the innings.

He then struck twice in successive deliveries to send back Trent Boult (four) and Chris Martin (nought) to end New Zealand's first innings.

Only left-hander James Franklin (43 not out) offered some resistance with only two New Zealand batsmen facing more than 27 deliveries.

New Zealand failed to show any fight even before Ashwin had been pressed into the attack.

Ashwin completed his five-wicket haul when he had Trent Boult caught by Gautam Gambhir at short-leg and then bowled last-man Chris Martin with the very next delivery.

 

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