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Rain spares Black Caps' woes

2012-08-25 13:24

Hyderabad - Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took a career-best 6-31 to put India in firm command on the third day of the opening Test against New Zealand in Hyderabad on Saturday.

The 25-year-old was superbly backed by left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha (3-44) as New Zealand were dismissed for 159 in their first innings at the stroke of lunch in reply to India's 438.

The hosts, who enforced the follow-on after taking a 279-run lead, reduced New Zealand to 41/1 in the second innings at stumps.

Opener Brendon McCullum was unbeaten on 16 and Kane Williamson was three not out when play was called off after tea due to rain. New Zealand trail by 238 runs.

India opened the attack in the second innings with Ojha, who trapped opener Martin Guptill (16) leg-before in his eighth over to claim his fourth wicket of the match.

The tourists earlier added 53 runs to their overnight total of 106-5 after the match started an hour late due to a wet outfield, with Ashwin taking three wickets and Ojha and paceman Umesh Yadav one each.

It was Ashwin's third haul of five or more wickets in an innings in seven Tests.

James Franklin, unbeaten on 31 on Friday, was the lone batsman to defy the Indian attack, top-scoring with an unbeaten 43 off 122 balls.

India struck in the day's second over when Yadav trapped Kruger van Wyk leg-before for no score and then Ojha had Doug Bracewell (17) stumped to reduce the tourists to 141/7.

Ashwin got a wicket with his third delivery when he held a low return catch to his left to dismiss Jeetan Patel (10) before removing Trent Boult and Chris Martin off successive balls.

AFP