MUMBAI: New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel bagged 14 wickets for 225 in the Mumbai Test against India – the best match figures for bowlers against India in the longer format of the game.
Ajaz remained the lone performer for world number one-ranked New Zealand, the World Test champions after beating India in the title clash in June.
His 14 wickets against India surpassed England fast bowler Ian Botham’s 13-106 in Mumbai in 1980.
The figure of 14-225 is the second-best for New Zealand in Test as no other bowler has taken more than 12 wickets in a Test match for the Kiwis other than Ajaz and Sir Richard Hadlee who took 15 wickets for 123 runs against Australia in Brisbane in 1985.
The spinners match figures are also the best for a visiting player in Asia, according to ESPNcricinfo.
Ajaz’s 10-119 in the first innings brought him into an elite company alongside two other bowlers including England’s Jim Laker (1956 v Australia) and India’s Anil Kumble (v Pakistan in 1999).
But his effort was part of a losing fight.
He nevertheless had a memorable homecoming including taking the big wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and home skipper Virat Kohli — who returned to the team after he stepped down as national Twenty20 captain and had a short break — for ducks.
The 33-year-old Ajaz, who moved to Auckland from Mumbai with his parents in 1996, has claimed 43 wickets for New Zealand in 11 matches since making his debut in 2018.