Mumbai, Dec 5 (IANS) Mayank Agarwal completed his half-century and shared a 100-run partnership for the first wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara as India reached 142/2 in the second innings, extending their lead over New Zealand to 405 runs at lunch on the third day of the second and final Test at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday.
Shubman Gill was batting on 17 and skipper Virat Kohli on 11 at the lunch break on Sunday.
Agarwal, who struck a fantastic 150 in the first essay, added 102 runs for the first wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara as India continued to tighten their grip on the match. Agarwal, who came out with aggressive intent, hit Ajaz Patel for couple of boundaries — an inside-out driver over extra cover for a boundary and a six to complete his half-century being the most pleasing shorts.
He got a life when the bowler grassed a difficult chance off his own bowling but had the last laugh when the Indian opener took him on despite the presence of a fielder at long-off. Will Young pouched an easy one to give Ajaz his 11th wicket of the match.
Agarwal got out on 62 (108 ball, 9×4, 1×6), the exact score that the visitors managed in their first innings at Wankhede on Saturday.
The New Zealand left-armer, only the third bowler to take all-10 wickets in India’s first innings, made it all 12 when he induced a thick outside edge from Pujara on a nicely-flighted delivery that turned sharply. Pujara prod at it and Ross Taylor at first slip grabbed it just millimetres above the ground. The on-field umpires sought a review to ascertain that it was taken cleanly and the TV umpire said ‘yes’ after a long and hard look from various angles.
Early in the morning, New Zealand pacer Tim Southee tested Agarwal and Pujara with some short ones. Agarwal was hit on his unprotected elbow when he tried to pull a short one and had to seek the services of physio Nitin Patel twice.
Ajaz Patel continued to trouble the Indians as he claimed all the 12 Indian wickets that have fallen in this Test so far for 196 off 68.5 overs, a feat not achieved by any bowler in international cricket till now. He is now tied with Daniel Vettori at second spot for most wickets by a New Zealand bowler in a Test match.
Vettori has done it twice, against Australia (12/149) at Auckland in 2000 and against Bangladesh (12/170) at Chittagram in 2004. Richard Hadlee leads the list with 15 wickets for 123 against Australia at Brisbane in 1985.
Brief scores: India 325 & 142/2 in 46 overs (Mayank Agarwal 62, Cheteshwar Pujara 47, Shubman Gill batting 17, Virat Kohli batting 11; Ajaz Patel 2/77) v New Zealand 62.