India dismiss NZ for 204 on day 3, take firm grip on 2nd Test

 Kolkata, Oct 2:  India grabbed a massive 124-run lead after wrapping up New Zealand for 204 in their first innings to take a firm grip on the second cricket Test against New Zealand here today.

In reply to India's 316 in the first innings, New Zealand were bundled out in the first hour's play after some late charge by Jeetan Patel (47), who emerged as the top-scorer for the visitors.

At lunch on day three, Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay were batting on four and seven respectively with team's score of 12 for no loss in five overs.

Left-handed Dhawan took blows on his bottom hand thumb twice with the ball rising awkwardly as he survived some anxious moments and opened his account after 14 balls and the swollen thumb had to be taped.

Playing his first Test after more than three years, No. 9 batsman Patel, the off-spinner who was flown in from England to replace an injured Mark Craig, shared a 60-run partnership with BJ Watling (25).

Patel's careerbest score took New Zealand past the 200-mark but he could not make further inroad after Ravichandran Ashwin gave the first breakthrough of the day in his first over.

Mohammed Shami (3/70) then dismissed Watling (25) and Neil Wagner (10) in successive overs to wrap the tail giving India a 112-run first innings lead.

India's pacer duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (5/48) and Shami accounted for eight wickets, while the spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin took one each.

That India's ace spinner Ashwin bowled just eight overs sums up the relaid Eden surface which has surprised many with
its variable bounce and carry.

Resuming on 128/7 in 34.0 overs with a 15-minute early start, New Zealand survived the opening hour's play which
included a brief 10-minute rain halt.

There was little movement with the old ball as the Indian pace duo of Bhuvneshwar, who took a five-wicket haul yesterday looked, and Shami looked less ominous. 

Jadeja was introduced in the fifth over of the day but the 36-year-old Patel who has an experience of playing in these conditions looked at ease hitting the left-arm spinner for two boundaries in his first over of the day.

Patel raced to 47 from 44 balls with three boundaries in one Jadeja over before being adjudged lbw after he was hit on his backfoot but he survived as the India spinner had overstepped.

But Ashwin dismissed Patel in the same score, denying him his first International half-century, after he skied one catch
to Shami while trying to clear mid-on.

Meanwhile, there was relief for India as top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who was absent from fielding yesterday, had recovered from his illness and was out in the field.

India lead the three-match series 1-0 after their 197-run win in the Kanpur Test.

PTI