Lord’s Test: India fight back with Rahane’s gutsy century

London, July 17 :

A fine gutsy century from Ajinkya Rahane and his valuable 90-run stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped India recover from a batting collapse to reach a respective 290 for nine against England on the first day of the second cricket Test here Thursday.

On a green top at Lord’s, India suffered a batting collapse, losing four wickets for 42 runs, but Rahane (103) and Bhuvneshwar (36) put on a valiant stand that pulled out India from a precarious 145 for seven to a competitive total. At stumps, Mohammed Shami was batting on 14 and Ishant Sharma on 12.

England’s chief destructor was pace spearhead James Anderson, who picked up four for 55 while Stuart Broad got two for 79. Liam Plunkett, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali got a wicket apiece.

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane

Anderson, who is staring at a two-match ban for allegedly “pushing and abusing” India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, was the most threatening bowler. He made his bowling do all the talking against the Indian batsmen, who are always vulnerable to seam bowling.

India lost both the openers Shikhar Dhawan (7) and Murali Vijay (24) early to reach 73 for two in their first session and then added another 67 runs by losing four wickets in the second session to reach 140 for six at tea.

Shortly after tea, Stuart Binny (6) was dismissed after he was trapped lbw by Anderson, who looked as if he was out with a vengeance against the Indians.

But what followed next was a great fight-back by Rahane and Buvneshwar, who had also struck a match-saving half-century in the first Test.

The duo was fearless in their approach and took the attack to the English bowlers. Both Rahane and Bhuvneshwar took their own time to settle down but once they did they punished the bad deliveries for fours.

The boundaries, which had dried up, suddenly started flowing thick and fast. The partnership was finally broken by Broad, who castled Bhuvneshwar to leave India at 235 for eight.

Rahane and Shami then added another 40 runs for the ninth wicket. Rahane completed his second Test century in his seventh match, with a crisply time four through the covers of Anderson.

The English bowler, however, had the last laugh three balls later as he got rid of Rahane with a brilliantly executed return catch of his own bowling. Rahane struck 15 fours and a six during his 154 ball knock.

Earlier after winning the toss, England captain Alastair Cook didn’t blink an eyelid before asking India to bat on a surface that was tailor-made to benefit the English bowlers.

The ball swung right from the word go troubling Dhawan and Vijay.

Anderson provided England the first breakthrough with an outstanding delivery that pitched outside leg, forcing Dhawan to play at it and the southpaw nicked it through to third slip, a low catch taken by Gary Ballance. Anderson’s 230th Test wicket also took him past England great Fred Trueman as the highest wicket taker on English soil.

In the next over, Vijay also got a reprieve as he was dropped off Stuart Broad even before he could open his account. Keeper Matt Prior made a valiant dive to his right and got his glove before putting down what was a tough chance.

Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara (28) then added 37 runs for the second wicket to stabilise the innings. But just when it looked that Vijay, who struck four fours, was growing in confidence, he edged Plunkett to Ballance for his second catch of the morning at third slip.

Anderson struck soon after the lunch break to get rid of Virat Kohli (25) with some away movement and Prior took it safely behind the stumps.

Stokes produced a brilliant delivery that nipped back in to knock of Pujara’s middle-stumps while Broad got rid of India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (1) again caught behind by Prior.

Jadeja, who was booed by the Lord’s fans, lasted 11 deliveries for his three runs before he was trapped lbw by part-time Ali.

India (first innings)

Murali Vijay c Ballance b Plunkett 24
Shikhar Dhawan c Ballance b Anderson 7
Cheteshwar Pujara b Stokes 28
Virat Kohli c Prior b Anderson 25
Ajinkya Rahane c&b Anderson 103
Mahendra Singh Dhoni c Prior b Broad 1
Ravindra Jadeja lbw b Ali 3
Stuart Binny lbw b Anderson 9
Bhuvneshwar Kumar b Broad 36
Mohammed Shami batting 14
Ishant Sharma batting 12

Extras (b 17, lb 10, nb 1) 28

Total (for nine wickets in 90 overs) 290

Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Dhawan, 2.5 overs), 2-48 (Vijay, 21.3), 3-86 (Kohli, 31.1), 4-113 (Pujara, 41.5), 5-123 (Dhoni, 47.2), 6-128 (Jadeja, 50.4), 7-145 (Binny, 57.2), 8-235 (Kumar, 81.6), 9-275 (Rahane, 86.4)


James Anderson 22-7-55-4
Stuart Broad 22-5-79-2
Liam Plunkett 15-5-51-1
Ben Stokes 17-5-40-1
Moeen Ali 14-2-38-1

Match details:

Toss: England chose to field
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and Bruce Oxenford (Australia)
TV umpire: Richard Illingworth (England)
Match referee: David Boon (Australia)
Reserve umpire: David Millns (England)


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