Vi­jay, Pu­jara lift In­dia

Jamaica Gleaner - - SATURDAY -

CEN­TURIES BY Mu­rali Vi­jay and Chetesh­war Pu­jara pushed In­dia to 319 for four and be­hind Eng­land by 218 runs on day three of the first Test yes­ter­day. Vi­jay scored 126 and Pu­jara made 124 as they de­fied Eng­land’s bowlers for most of the day’s play. They strung to­gether 209 for the sec­ond wicket, their sec­ond-high­est part­ner­ship af­ter 370 in 2013 against Aus­tralia in Hyderabad.

“Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is key for both of us,” Pu­jara said. “Vi­jay and I have been play­ing to­gether for a long time. We have spent time talk­ing about the game and the for­mat.”

He charmed the crowd with his ag­gres­sive in­nings, his ninth Test hun­dred and third against Eng­land. Fam­ily and close friends were on hand at his home ground.

“It means a lot. I have played a lot of do­mes­tic cricket at Ra­jkot,” he said. “I was ner­vous be­fore this game. There were a lot of ex­pec­ta­tions. I tried not to think about them.”

Stumps was taken af­ter In­dia lost two wick­ets in two late overs, leav­ing Vi­rat Kohli 26 not out.

The pitch con­tin­ued to play true as the match seems headed for a draw. Eng­land’s over rate was slow, how­ever. Play was ex­tended by half hour, but 4.3 overs re­mained to be bowled at stumps.

Af­ter tea, Pu­jara com­pleted his cen­tury off 169 de­liv­er­ies. He was out caught at wide slip by Alas­tair Cook off Ben Stokes in the 92nd over. In all, he faced 206 de­liv­er­ies and hit 17 fours.

Vi­jay racked up his sev­enth Test hun­dred off 254 de­liv­er­ies. Af­ter Pu­jara’s dis­missal, he put on 41 with Kohli for the third wicket.

Vi­jay was dis­missed just be­fore close of play, caught at short leg by Haseeb Hameed off spin­ner Adil Rashid. He faced 301 balls in to­tal and hit nine fours as well as four sixes.

Za­far An­sari then dis­missed night­watch­man Amit Mishra for a duck, also caught at short leg by Hameed, in the fi­nal over be­fore stumps. All four In­dia wick­ets were shared around.

AP

In­dian bats­man Chetesh­war Pu­jara raises his bat af­ter scor­ing a cen­tury on the third day of the first cricket Test match be­tween In­dia and Eng­land in Ra­jkot, In­dia, yes­ter­day.

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