In­dia man­age a draw with Eng­land

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

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.

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.

Eng­land were bol­stered by a 180run 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 could be the longterm so­lu­tion at the top of the order.

Eng­land, who had elected to bat first, owed their huge first in­nings to­tal to Joe Root, Ali and Ben Stokes – all of whom hit cen­turies.

Eng­land would take a lot of heart from their per­for­mance since they came into the series on the back of a first-ever Test de­feat to min­nows Bangladesh. –

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