Vijay, Rahul steady, India 248/1 at tea against Afghanistan
Bengaluru: Opener Murali Vijay (94 not out) and Lokesh Rahul (33 not out) took India to 248/1 at tea on the opening day of the one-off Test against Afghanistan at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday.
Vijay and Rahul shared a 90-run partnership for the second wicket to take India past the 200-run mark in 36.3 overs before rain played spoilsport, forcing umpires to call off the afternoon session early.
Resuming the second session at 158/0, India lost the lone wicket of centurion Shikhar Dhawan (107 off 96) when the Delhi opener found a thick edge off Yamin Ahmadzai’d delivery which landed at the first slip. The southpaw’s knock contained 19 boundaries and three sixes.
Earlier, electing to bat after winning the toss, the Indian openers got to their act rather effortlessly as they brought up their third century partnership in mere 20 overs.
For the visitors, none of the bowlers looked threatening, except a couple of scares, including a review of Dhawan for leg before off Rashid when the southpaw was on 94.
At the lunch break, Murali Vijay (41 not out) and Dhawan (104 not out) went back intact, leaving Afghanistan to rethink over their strategies in their first ever Test.
Dhawan looked in sublime touch right from the start, punishing the pace duo of Yamin Ahmadzai and Wafadar for glorious boundaries before sending his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammate Rashid Khan to the cleaners.
The Delhi southpaw has now become the only Indian to score a century in the opening session of a Test match. With Vijay playing a sedate innings at the other end, Dhawan looked unstoppable and got to his seventh test ton in mere 87 balls even as the famed Afghan spin trio of Mohammed Nabi, Rashid and Mujeeb Ur Rahman seemed all at sea with this format.
With the Chinnaswamy track offering a bit of movement for the quicks, and some spin for the slower bowlers, the left-hander looked unperturbed as he took Rashid for three consecutive boundaries, including a six before launching the Mujeeb for another three back to back fours.
Brief Scores: India 248/1 (Shikhar Dhawan 104, Murali Vijay 94 not out; Yamin Ahmadzai 1/28) vs Afghanistan at Tea.