India vs NZ: Hosts on top despite losing Saha, Ashwin
India were off to a patchy start on Day 2 of the second Test against New Zealand at Wankhede. Ajaz Patel got rid of Wriddhiman Saha and R Ashwin in the day's second over. However, Mayank Agarwal and Axar Patel didn't let the Kiwis dominate thereafter. The duo returned unbeaten as India finished on 285/6 at lunch. Here is the session report.
Ajaz gave NZ back-to-back breakthroughs
Ajaz struck on the fourth delivery of his first over. He got rid of Saha, trapping him in front. With this, the former completed his third five-wicket haul in Test cricket. He dismissed Ashwin on the very next delivery. Ajaz was on a hat-trick, however, Axar defended him well. Notably, Ajaz has taken all six wickets for NZ in the innings so far.
Ajaz takes his third five-for in Asia
Ajaz has taken his third Test five-wicket haul in Asia, the joint-third-most by a Kiwi bowler with Tim Southee. The duo is behind Daniel Vettori (8) and Sir Richard Hadlee (5). As per Cricbuzz, Ajaz has become the first NZ spinner to take a five-for in the first innings of a Test in India (previous best: 4/100 by Jeetan Patel in 2012).
A crucial partnership between Mayank and Axar
Mayank and Axar were defensive throughout the first session. The duo negotiated the Kiwi bowlers well after India lost Saha and Ashwin in quick succession. Mayank and Axar stitched a 61-run stand, powering the hosts past 250. The former, who slammed his fourth Test ton yesterday, has a terrific opportunity to carry his bat. Mayank already has two double-tons in Test cricket.