Agarwal steers India to 285-6 after Ajaz's twin strikes

Mumbai (AFP) – Mayank Agarwal stood unbeaten on 146 to pull India through another scare after New Zealand's Mumbai-born spinner Ajaz Patel struck twice in successive deliveries on the second day of the second Test on Saturday.


India reached 285 for six at lunch with Agarwal, who started on his overnight 120, and Axar Patel on 32, putting on an unbeaten stand of 61 at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.

Ajaz, who added two wickets to his overnight tally of four, struck first to send back Wriddhiman Saha who added only two runs to his 25 from day one before falling low on a ball that darted onto his pads.

Ajaz bowled Ravichandran Ashwin on the next ball as the shocked batsman signalled for a review, not realising the ball had rattled the top of off stump.

The hat-trick was avoided by Axar but Ajaz kept up the pressure from his end as he bowled for almost the whole morning session.

New Zealand took the second new ball after 80 overs but Agarwal stood firm with the left-handed Axar as the pair mixed caution and aggression.

Agarwal, who reached his fourth Test century on Friday, tackled Ajaz's threat with aplomb as he drove, defended and attacked with assurance.

Axar also looked solid to see India through to the break on what seemed like a good track for spinners -- and the home side had three in their XI.