Ashwin stars in India’s victory

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Ashwin_celebrations REUTERS India's Ravichandran Ashwin (centre) celebrates with his teammates after taking the final wicket to win the match.

Hyderabad, India – Ravichandran Ashwin picked up a career-best 12 wickets as India crushed New Zealand by an innings and 115 runs within four days in the opening Test.

Ashwin's 6/54, his second six-wicket haul in the match, and Pragyan Ojha's 3/48 bundled the visitors out for 164 in the second innings, giving India a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.

The 25-year-old Ashwin, who took 6/31 in New Zealand's first innings, grabbed 12 wickets for 85 runs in the match, the best by an Indian bowler against New Zealand in a Test.

The Indian spin duo had shared nine wickets when New Zealand were all out for 159 in their first innings.

After a barren, rain-shortened morning session, India picked up five wickets in the afternoon session and completed the formalities soon after returning from the tea break.

Resuming on 41/1, Brendon McCullum (42) and Kane Williamson (52) batted resolutely in the first session to deny the hosts a breakthrough.

Umesh Yadav, the only Indian paceman to grab a wicket in the first innings, finally broke through by getting McCullum lbw after a second-wicket stand of 72.

McCullum was unhappy with the decision as he thought the ball had touched his bat before hitting the pad and trudged off shaking his head and muttering to himself.

The dismissal opened the floodgates and Ashwin picked up three wickets to add to his haul of six in the first innings.

Ojha got his second wicket of the innings by bringing Williamson's resistance to an end after the batsman had completed his half-century.

The start of play was delayed for the third day in a row due to morning showers. Most of Saturday's play was washed out due to a heavy downpour.

The second and final test of the series will be played in Bangalore from Friday. – Reuters


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