India surge clear after Black Caps collapse


India exploited a woeful batting collapse from New Zealand to build a 215-run lead on day three and put themselves in charge of the first Test in Kanpur.

The Black Caps made a solid start to their opening innings to reach stumps on Friday at 152-1, but the following day could not have contrasted further.

A trio of dismissals in the first session were followed by the loss of five wickets for seven runs as they were skittled for 262 at Green Park, with Ravindra Jadeja (5-73) and Ravichandran Ashwin (4-93) in sensational form.

Although India lost KL Rahul to Ish Sodhi (1-29) for 38, Murali Vijay (64 not out) and Cheteshwar Pujara (50 no) notched their second half-centuries of the match to put the hosts firmly in control.

In conditions favouring spinners, the Black Caps struggled to get going and saw Tom Latham (58) trapped leg before by Ashwin, while Jadeja repeated the trick on Ross Taylor for a two-ball duck in the second over.

Off-spinner Ashwin accounted for New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (75), Luke Ronchi (38) and Mitchell Santner (32) attempting to restore some stability with a 49-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

But India had other ideas, Ashwin striking again with his first ball after lunch, drawing an outside edge from Santner that was taken by wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha.

Jadeja continued to draw phenomenal turn and he dismissed Mark Craig (2) and Sodhi (0) lbw off successive deliveries, but a defensive shot from Trent Boult (0) denied him a hat-trick.

Two balls later, though, Jadeja had his man and his fifth Test five-for. Boult jabbed down onto his toe and the ball was scooped up in stunning fashion by Rohit Sharma just before hitting the deck.

A miserable session came to an end for the Black Caps when Ashwin caught and bowled BJ Watling (21) for India's fourth wicket in just 10 balls, the hosts starting their second innings with a 56-run advantage.

After a steady start to India's second innings Rahul started to cut loose, a reverse sweep off Craig (0-48) the pick of his expansive shots.

Sodhi made the breakthrough when his delivery was sent to Taylor at slip by Rahul, but Pujara and Vijay continued the surge upon resuming after tea, adding 30 runs from 17 deliveries.

It was a single off Martin Guptill (0-14) that brought up Vijay's fifty, and he launched Craig over the ropes at wide long-on for his first maximum of the day.

Pujara reached his half-century with a pair of singles in the final over, India closing for the day at 159-1 and leaving New Zealand with plenty to do on day four if they are to halt the hosts' momentum.