Star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin produced an excellent bowling performance to give India the upper hand on Day Three of the third Test against New Zealand at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.

Ashwin, who had given India the breakthrough by trapping opener Tom Latham (53) leg before in the morning session, reduced New Zealand for a paltry 299 with figures of 6/81. The 30-year-old was also involved in two brilliant run-outs.

Ashwin picked up his second wicket when Kane WIlliamson (8) dragged the ball onto his stumps while attempting a cut. The off-spinner then sent Ross Taylor (0) back to the pavilion in his very next over before a straight drive by Luke Ronchi deflected off his hand to hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end and catch Martin Guptill (72) out of his crease.

The Chennai spinner then picked up his fourth wicket when Ajinkya Rahane showed some excellent fielding at first slip to send back Ronchi (0).

Bradley-John Watling (23) and Neesham then tried to bring the Kiwi innings back on track with a 53-run partnership.

But Jadeja found Watling’s outside edge with a delivery that turned away sharply after pitching to put the visitors into further trouble just before the tea break.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja dismissed Bradley Watling and Mitchell Santner (22) and ended up with figures of 2/80.

Ashwin then trapped James Neesham leg before wicket for 71. Ashwin’s next was Jeetan Patel’s (18) run out which was followed by Boult’s dismissal for a duck. Pujara’s catch helped Ashwin get his sixth wicket of the innings. Matt Henry was the last man standing for 15 runs.

India, with a lead of 258 runs, chose to bat for their second innings and were 18 for no loss at close of play. At stumps, India opener Murali Vijay (11) and Cheteshwar Pujara (1) were at the crease and the hosts had an overall lead of 276 runs. Veteran opener Gautam Gambhir (6) was forced to return to the pavilion with a shoulder injury.

  • with inputs from IANS