KANPUR:There was a buzz around Green Park when play began in the final session on Sunday. R Ashwin had the new ball on a turning deck. Slip, leg-slip, silly point and short-leg crouched around the bat. Every time a ball rapped the pads or lobbed up into the hands of the fielders, two or three more rushed to the centre in loud appeals. A near-capacity holiday crowd emanated a cacophony of roars in anticipation of the umpire’s raised index finger. Well, that is the most defining setting of a dominant India at home.
On the fourth evening of their 500th Test, Virat Kohli and his men moved in for the kill with a massive lead of 433 runs behind them. And even before New Zealand could figure out what was happening, Ashwin sent back both openers in his second over. With Ravindra Jadeja and md Shami too coming into the action, survival on the wearing surface for the Kiwis was turning out to be an ordeal far worse than negotiating the lawless Kanpur traffic.
The sweep appeared to be their preferred escape route, but Martin Guptill perished in the attempt, while Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson were fortunate not to. Ashwin, however, had the NZ captain, just as in the first innings, with one that turned in from outside off to complete 200 Test wickets. After having stuttered around for 71 minutes, the pressure perhaps proved such a distraction for Taylor that he forgot to drag his bat into the crease to become the victim of Umesh Yadav’s direct hit from the deep.
Luke Ronchi, who scored a century in the warm-up game, and Mitchell Santner played out the last 15 overs after the Black Caps were reduced to 56 for 4.
With the latest update the New Zealand team were lost 7 wicket by scoring 205 in 73 overs.
The Kiwis now required 229 runs to win the test match with 3 wicket remaining.