India in control vs NZ despite Ajaz Patel’s historic feat

By Associated Press 05 December 2021, 12:00AM

MUMBAI India (AP) — India took control of the second test by reaching 69-0 in the second innings at stumps on day two against New Zealand despite Ajaz Patel's historic 10-wicket haul on Saturday.

Patel became just the third bowler in cricket history to take all 10 wickets in a test innings, saying the “stars have aligned” to take 10-119 in Mumbai, his birthplace.

Then, first innings’ centurion Mayank Agarwal was unbeaten on 38 while Cheteshwar Pujara was batting on 29 not out when play ended due to bad light.

Overall, India leads by 332 runs after New Zealand was bowled out for a paltry 62 runs (28.1 overs) in the first innings.

The 33-year-old Patel took four wickets on day one and added another six on day two — two in his first over of the day and another four after lunch, as India was dismissed for 325 in the series-deciding test at Wankhede Stadium.

“It is quite a special occasion for me; not only me, my wife, my mom and dad, my family. A very special day for me. To be born here and then come back here and achieve something like that is pretty special,” Patel said.

After lunch, India was bowled out in 10 overs. Agarwal was caught behind and then Axar Patel’s (52) innings came to an end.

Jayant Yadav and Mohammed Siraj were caught as Patel completed a historic rout.

He became only second bowler to achieve the feat on Indian soil. Jim Laker, for England against Australia in 1956, and Anil Kumble, for India against Pakistan in 1999, were the only bowlers to have previously taken all 10 wickets in a test innings.

“Welcome to the club #AjazPatel #Perfect10 Well bowled!” Kumble said in a tweet.

Both Laker and Patel represented Auckland in New Zealand’s domestic circuit. Patel said he’s in “very illustrious company” to be alongside Laker and Kumble in the history books.

"By the grace of God, I am very fortunate, the stars have aligned for me, having an occasion like that here in Mumbai,” Patel said.

He is playing in his 11th test. In his previous 10, he had taken just 29 wickets across 18 innings but now has 39 in 19 (before India’s second innings).

“It’s just about finding good rhythm and just being repetitive, asking good questions of the batters,” he said.

In response, New Zealand’s innings stuttered from the start.

Siraj blew away the top-order with pace and movement. Tom Latham (10) and Will Young (4) were caught at slip. Ross Taylor (1) was beaten for pace and bowled.

The Black Caps collapsed to 38-6 at tea as Indian spinners got into action.

Axar Patel trapped Daryl Mitchell (8) lbw. Ravichandran Ashwin came late into the attack but cleaned up Henry Nicholls (7) immediately.

Post tea, four more wickets fell quickly with Kyle Jamieson’s 17 the top score. Ashwin finished with 4-8 in eight overs as only two New Zealand batsmen got into double figures.

India took a 263-run lead. Surprisingly they did not enforce the follow on.

Agarwal and Pujara then extended the Black Caps’ misery and ground out 50 runs in 15 overs.

Shubman Gill was injured while fielding and thus did not open the batting.

“This innings was all about grit and determination," Agarwal said. “I haven’t changed much, but it’s more mental than technical. The Indian domestic circuit is tough and I’ve carried that experience into international cricket. We will look to pile on as many runs as we can tomorrow and put the pressure on New Zealand.”

The first test ended in a draw.

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More AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sport

By Associated Press 05 December 2021, 12:00AM
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