Kohli plays an­chor as In­dia draw first Eng­land Test

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Skip­per Virat Kohli hit an unbeaten 49 un­der pres­sure be­fore In­dia pulled off a tense draw on the fi­nal day of the first Test against Eng­land in Ra­jkot yes­ter­day.

The tourists had de­clared their sec­ond in­nings at 260-3 shortly af­ter lunch, leav­ing the home side to chase 310 runs off a min­i­mum 49 overs on the fifth and last day.

But the In­di­ans were soon fight­ing for sur­vival af­ter los­ing wick­ets in a clutch on a wear­ing track at the Saurash­tra Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion ground, host­ing its first Test ever. The In­di­ans fin­ished on 172-6 with lo­cal hero Ravin­dra Jadeja also re­main­ing not out on 32.

Eng­land had In­dia in early trou­ble at 71-4 but Kohli stead­ied the ship with a 47-run part­ner­ship that he shared with Ravichan­dran Ash­win (32). Adil Rashid was the pick of the bowlers with 3-64 while his spin part­ners Moeen Ali and Za­far An­sari took one wicket apiece.

Ali, who scored a cen­tury in the first in­nings, was named man of the match. Eng­land skip­per Alastair Cook praised his bowlers for putting In­dia’s bats­men un­der con­stant pres­sure.

“It was re­ally tough five days,” said Cook. “It was a good cricket wicket. We were re­lent­less with the ball, we didn’t let In­dia score too quickly. Adil (Rashid) stepped up to an­other level.”

In­dia’s sec­ond in­nings be­gan on a shaky note, with opener Gau­tam Gamb­hir fall­ing to pace­man Chris Woakes for a duck.

Leg-spin­ner Rashid then got go­ing, get­ting rid of Chetesh­war Pu­jara (18) who was trapped leg be­fore wicket and Mu­rali Vi­jay for 31.

Both Pu­jara and Vi­jay had hit cen­turies in In­dia’s first in­nings to­tal of 488 in re­ply to Eng­land’s 537.

Ali shat­tered the stumps of Ajinkya Ra­hane (one) and An­sari sent back Ash­win, who had proved to be a thorn in Eng­land’s side the last time they toured In­dia.

Kohli held his ground amid the may­hem, hit­ting six fours in his cru­cial 98-ball knock.


“It is im­por­tant to con­vince your­self you can ne­go­ti­ate what’s thrown at you,” Kohli said. “It was a chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tion. Eng­land’s bowlers put us un­der a lot of pres­sure. We need to ac­cept what hap­pened.”

Eng­land were bol­stered by a 180-run part­ner­ship be­tween skip­per Alastair Cook (130) and debu­tant Haseeb Hameed-a record open­ing stand for Eng­land in In­dia.

It was the 30th Test cen­tury for the left-handed Cook and record fifth in In­dia, more than any over­seas bats­man. Hameed, 19, be­lied his ten­der years in mak­ing 82 off 177 balls that con­tained one six and seven bound­aries.

His knock was the high­est Test score by a teenager for Eng­land, beat­ing Jack Craw­ford’s 74 in Cape Town in 1906.

In­dia fi­nally tasted suc­cess when leg-spin­ner Amit Mishra took a sharp re­turn catch as Hameed tried to go for a slog sweep.

Hameed, nick­named “Baby Boycott” for his un­flap­pable bat­ting tech­nique, had scored a stylish 31 dur­ing Eng­land’s first in­nings.

The right-han­der is Cook’s 10th dif­fer­ent open­ing part­ner since the re­tire­ment of An­drew Strauss in 2012 and on this form he could be the long-term so­lu­tion at the top of the or­der.

Eng­land, who had elected to bat first, owed

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