Source: News Bharati English12 Oct 2016 09:07:11

Indore, October 12: India defeated New Zealand in the third and the final Test at Indore by 321 runs to claim the Paytm trophy. The batting of Pujara and spin attack of Ashwin not only helped into to clean sweep the Blackcaps but also made the Indian side the top seeded team in ICC Test team rankings. India replaced Pakistan to lead the rankings table by 4 points.    
New Zealand lost nine wickets in the final session on Tuesday in abject fashion as R Ashwin and Cheteshwar Pujara starred on a perfect day, helping India complete a 3-0 sweep with a massive 321-run win at the Holkar Stadium. It was the fourth time India has whitewashed an opponent at home in a series of at least three matches.

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On the fourth day, after Pujara made a well-paced, unbeaten 101 off 148 balls to set up India’s second-innings declaration at 216 for 3, setting New Zealand an improbable 475 for victory, Ashwin’s 21st five-wicket haul spun a web to bowl the visitor out for 153 in just 44.5 overs. It was a rather uncharacteristic display, given the way New Zealand has played in the series.

There was a bit of a surprise in Pujara leading India’s quick dash with the bat, but none whatsoever with who led the charge with the ball. The wicket-machine named Ashwin ended with 7 for 59 - his best bowling figures ever - to go with his first-innings performance of 6 for 81. He finished the series with an incredible 27 wickets at 17.77.

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The BLACKCAPS made a bright start to their first innings reply with Guptill and Latham combing for a 118 run opening stand. But Ashwin (6 for 81) would account for both players, Latham (53) caught and bowled and Guptill run out at the non strikers end from a Ashwin tip on for 72.

The wickets fell regularly from there, but 71 from Neesham ensured the BLACKCAPS got a respectable total in the end. 299 still left them with a 258 run deficit that was extended by 18 runs for no loss by India who played out six overs to finish day three.

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New Zealand’s only other realistic hope was Kane Williamson. The captain seemed to have a plan against Ashwin, who had got him out in all his three previous, bats this series. All three dismissals occurred when Williamson tried to cut the off-spinner off the back foot against the turn. Ashwin went for the same strategy again and left the point area vacant.

Williamson responded by flicking through the leg-side for three boundaries but Ashwin had the last laugh again, trapping him leg before with one that turned big. Williamson had shuffled across a long way in attempting to flick, walking into the trap.

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The rest was only a matter of time. Ross Taylor looked to attack his way out of trouble and hit Ashwin for four fours and a six, but the shots were more out of insecurity than anything else. Ashwin ended the little challenge, going through Taylor’s big swipe with another one that turned a mile. Two overs later, Ashwin cleaned up Luke Ronchi for his third wicket.

Ravindra Jadeja, who saw Ajinkya Rahane drop Guptill earlier off his bowling, was perhaps feeling a bit left out and decided to get into the act. In the space of five balls, he lured Jimmy Neesham into a lazy flick to short mid-wicket and then had Guptill plumb in front. The tail had little chance and folded without much resistance as New Zealand went from 80 for 2 to 153 all out. Fittingly, Ashwin ended the game and the series with the wicket of Trent Boult, caught and bowled.

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) presented the ICC Test Championship mace to India captain Virat Kohli at the Holkar Stadium in Indore after the end of the third and final Test against New Zealand. ICC also presented the ICC Test Championship mace to India captain Virat Kohli after the end of the third and final Test against New Zealand.

On behalf of the ICC, former India captain and ICC Cricket Hall of Famer Sunil Gavaskar made the presentation immediately after the awards ceremony for the series. The mace was produced in 2001, which was commissioned to make a distinctive prize designed to stand out from other cricket trophies.

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