Open­ers raise 168 be­fore vis­i­tors fight back

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Front Page - Ashutosh Sharma ashutosh.sharma@htlive.com ▪

BAN­GA­LORE: Afghanistan were given a rough in­tro­duc­tion to Test cricket with both In­dia open­ers Shikhar Dhawan and Mu­rali Vi­jay help­ing them­selves to su­perb cen­turies on the open­ing day of the one-off match on Thursday.

By the end of the day, In­dia had posted 347/6 in 78 overs, de­spite two rain in­ter­rup­tions that saw over 100 min­utes of play lost at the M Chin­naswamy Sta­dium. Shikhar Dhawan (107 – 96b, 19x4, 3x6) be­came the first In­dia bats­man to score a Test cen­tury be­fore lunch on Day 1 while Vi­jay (105 – 153b, 15x4, 1x6) reached his 12th cen­tury in a more se­date fash­ion.

It was a his­toric day for wartorn Afghanistan, but while their pac­ers rose to the oc­ca­sion, the fab spin trio of Rashid Khan, Mo­ham­mad Nabi and Mu­jeeb ur Rah­man got ham­mered all around the park in the first two ses­sions of play. Rashid and Mu­jeeb did come back in the last hour, trou­bling the bats­men with their vari­a­tions, show­ing a glimpse of what could have been had they found their line and length ear­lier in the day.

Af­ter go­ing for a plenty for most of the day, Rashid came to his own when the ball got older, castling stand-in In­dia skip­per Ajinkya Ra­hane for 10. Mu­jeeb at the other end trou­bled Pu­jara with vari­a­tions be­fore hav­ing him caught at leg gully for 35.

Afghan pac­ers Yamin Ah­madzai and Wafadar tried to keep things tight but too many loose balls meant the In­dia open­ers were never trou­bled. The open­ers played con­trast­ing in­nings. While Dhawan was ad­ven­tur­ous and looked to dom­i­nate, Vi­jay waited pa­tiently for scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.


▪ Shikhar Dhawan scored his cen­tury be­fore lunch.

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