India star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin shines on County debut for Worcestershire

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Ravichandran Ashwin finished with a match-haul of 8-162

Indian off-spin stalwart Ravichanran Ashwin’s county stint with Worcestershire couldn’t have got-off to a better start as he picked up a five-wicket haul on his debut.

Worcestershire moved into second place in the County Championship Division Two after a 189-runs victory over Gloucestershire.

Ashwin got a standing ovation from the crowd at New Road, Worcester after the new recruit followed up his three wicket haul in the first innings to pick up five more on Thursday to end any chance of a Gloucestershire victory.

The visitors resumed their overnight innings at 3-55 chasing an imposing total of 400 in the final innings of the match but apart from a third wicket partnership of 71 between Jack Taylor and Phil Mustard, none of the batsman could get going as Ashwin turned on the magic with the ball.

The star-spinner claimed 5-68 in the second innings to finish with match-figures of 8-162 as Worcestershire bought an end to their mini-slump of no wins in the last three games to move back ahead of Surrey in second place.

Following in Zaheer Khan’s footsteps who had a very successful stint with the county, Ashwin made the most of his first outing for the Midlands club.

Ashwin had a successful tour of Sri Lanka where India whitewashed the hosts 3-0 before signing up for the Division Two county outfit.

He is one of the two Indians currently plying their trade in England’s first-class cricket competition, with Cheteshwar Pujara rejoining with Nottinghamshire for the remainder of the season.

The India spin-spearhead will now be in action again on Tuesday when Worcestershire travel to table-toppers Nottinghamshire where he will square-off against his compatriot.

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