Mumbai: New Zealand slumped to 140-5 at stumps on day three of the second test against India today with the visitors needing another 400 runs for an improbable victory.
India, meanwhile, is just five wickets away from a series win in the two-match contest. The first test in Kanpur was drawn.
India, which declared its second innings at 276-7 to set a 540-run target for the Black Caps, started losing wickets after lunch.
Shubman Gill (47) and Virat Kohli (36) did manage to put on 82 runs for the third wicket but New Zealand’s spinners continued doing the work for the touring side as Ajaz Patel finished with 4-106 following his historic 10-for in the first innings.
Rachin Ravindra (3-56) also got into the act, dismissing both Kohli and Gill.
Patel got rid of Shreyas Iyer (14) and Jayant Yadav (6) as India lost four wickets for 41 runs.
Patel finished with a match haul of 14 wickets for 225 runs for the best match haul in test cricket for any visiting bowler in India. The previous best was Englishman Ian Botham’s 13 wickets for 106 runs in 1980, also in Mumbai.
Facing a mammoth total, New Zealand then collapsed under India’s spin pressure.
Ravichandran Ashwin (3-27) opened the bowling and trapped Tom Latham (6) lbw.
He also had Will Young (20) caught at forward short leg while Ross Taylor (6) played a surprising slog sweep and was caught to leave New Zealand reeling on 55-3.
Daryl Mitchell (60) managed to resist the Indian spin attack to reach a half-century, helping New Zealand cross the 100-run mark and put on 73 runs for the fourth wicket with Henry Nicholls.
But Axar Patel (1-42) struck before stumps to remove Mitchell and then Tom Blundell was run-out for a duck to leave the Black Caps faltering.
At stumps, Nicholls was unbeaten on 36 runs with Rachin Ravindra (2 not out) for company.
“The way Agarwal played in both innings for India, he set the template for how I personally wanted to try and go about, taking on the Indian spinners today,” Said Mitchell. “Disappointing to not still be out there and kick on but it was nice to get a partnership going. It’s a pretty challenging surface. The ball is definitely turning there with your name on it.”
On Saturday, India took control of the test by reaching 69-0 in its second innings at stumps after bowling New Zealand out for 62.
The first test ended in a draw.