Ton-up Dhawan put India on top despite a late fightback from Afghanistan

Shikhar Dhawan after his brilliant ton against Afghanistan. Image Source: twitter

XtaTime Web Desk: Despite of a late fight back by Afghanistan in their historic first Test, hosts India have reached 347 for 6 on Day 1 of the one off Test in Bengaluru today. Earlier winning the toss India’s stand in skipper Ajinkya chose to field spot. There was a doubt that India’s star opener Shikhar Dhawan’s fitness but proving everyone wrong he not only  came in to bat but also scored a sensational ton in the first  session which is also a record by any Indian.

Dhawan’s 107 in a first-wicket partnership of 168 followed by Vijay’s 105 took India to a commanding 347/6 in the 78 overs possible on a rain-hit day. It could have been very different with India at 280/1 at one stage, but Afghanistan fought back hard with five wickets in the final session and will be pleased at how they finished the day.

Afghanistan’s spinners were expected to be their biggest strength as they started out in the red-ball game. But the trio of Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, so successful in the shorter formats, failed to contain and were quickly thrown off their lengths. It was only in the last session that Khan and Rahman found some bite.

Combining with KL Rahul, who came in at No.3, Vijay kept up the brisk pace of scoring. They were without the flourish of Dhawan, but as the field was spread out, had little trouble in piercing the gaps with deft touches.

The 122-run stand was broken by Wafadar, with Vijay offering no shot to one pitched well outside off and angling in sharply; the umpire agreed with the bowler that it would clip the top of off.

When Rahul chopped on to his stumps just two balls later to give Ahmadzai his second wicket, the skip was back in Afghanistan’s steps.

Ajinkya Rahane had one decision for caught behind overturned, but had to walk back when Afghanistan challenged successfully for an lbw appeal. Khan finally had his first Test wicket, with a ball pitched on middle keeping straight.

Nabi denied Khan a second when he dropped Pujara on 30, but made up for it with a leap to his left to send back the batsman for 35 off Rahman. Afghanistan, who had been throwing themselves around all day, were rewarded with a run out of Dinesh Karthik as well.

Khan’s final spell of 9-2-15-1 perfectly captured the shift in momentum, but the debutants will know their work is far from done.


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