Vijay, Pujara build commanding 1st test lead for India vs NZ

KANPUR, India (AP) " Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara put India in firm control of the first test on Saturday as the hosts reached 159-1 in their second innings at stumps on day three to lead New Zealand by 215 runs.

Vijay was 64 not out in Kanpur and Pujara undefeated on 50.

After tea, Vijay was sedate at one end while Pujara started in whirlwind fashion with regular boundaries. Pujara maintained a high tempo throughout his innings and reached his second 50 in the match, a feat matched by Vijay, whose 14th test 50 included seven fours and a six.

The two batsmen batted fluently and gave no chances to the bowlers, scoring at nearly four per over during their 107-run stand.

With two days left, and the pitch deteriorating quickly, New Zealand will find it tough to avoid defeat.

"It was a tough day on a typical day-three wicket," New Zealand's B.J. Watling said. "We have to look forward to tomorrow and make sure we make the adjustments that are required."

Earlier, Ravindra Jadeja took his fifth five-wicket haul in test cricket for India.

New Zealand collapsed from 152-1 overnight to 170-4 and then 262 all out in its first innings, in reply to India's 318.

New Zealand lost its last five wickets for just seven runs with Jadeja finishing on 5-73.

The drama began in the 92nd over when Ravichandran Ashwin (4-93) had Mitchell Santner (32) caught behind, breaking his 36-run partnership with BJ Watling (21).

In the 95th over, Jadeja took three wickets in five balls to wreck the visitors' innings. Mark Craig (2) was trapped lbw, as was Sodhi (0) for a golden duck, putting the left-arm spinner on a hat trick. Trent Boult (0) denied Jadeja but was caught at short leg off the last delivery, the ball clipping his boot on its way to Rohit Sharma at short leg.

Ashwin caught and bowled Watling in the next over as the two spinners shared nine wickets to completely change the game and set up a possible win for their team that was in some doubt just a day ago.

"The morning session was key," Jadeja said. "Those three quick wickets changed the game. We knew that a couple top-order batsmen are key for them, and we didn't give away easy runs."

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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