Afghanistan hits back after 2 centuries for India in test
BANGALORE, India (AP) — Afghanistan hit back with five wickets after Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay scored centuries for India to finish day one of the one-off cricket test on 347-6 on Thursday.
India was cruising at 280-1 after two rain delays when it suddenly lost Vijay and Lokesh Rahul in the space of three deliveries and five wickets in all in the last session.
In its maiden test, Afghanistan’s spinners struggled in the first two sessions while the seamers made the early breakthroughs before the spinners got their lengths right and took the last two wickets.
India lost five wickets for 54 runs in the final session. Ravichandran Ashwin, 7 not out, and Hardik Pandya, 10 not out, were at the crease.
Shikhar Dhawan made 107 and fellow opener Vijay 105.
Dhawan earned his seventh test hundred off 87 balls, and became the first India batsman to score a century in the first session of the opening day of a test. Overall, he’s the sixth batsman in history to achieve this feat. The most revent was last year by David Warner against Pakistan.
“I didn’t know that I had achieved that feat until I was back in the dressing room (during lunch),” Dhawan said. “It is a great feeling. I have been batting well, in the tests against Sri Lanka and then in the IPL, too.”
Dhawan helped India reach lunch on 158-0, then added only three more runs to his tally before he was dismissed by Yamin Ahmadzai, who entered the history books as the first Afghanistan bowler to take a test wicket. Mohammad Nabi caught Dhawan at first slip, with some juggling help from the second slip fielder.
“They attacked us in the morning, especially the spinners, and were successful in scoring quickly,” Ahmadzai said. “There were some nerves and we gave too many loose balls in the first two sessions.
“This was a dream come true for our nation. It was enjoyable but there were also a little stress. Getting a test cap is the most important thing in the life of a cricketer. So I can’t really put it in words. When we first went onto the field, there was excitement and some nerves as well.”
Vijay was on 94 before the first rain delay, and 99 before the second. He quickly got to his 12th test hundred, off 143 balls.
Vijay was trapped by Wafadar (1-53) in the 52nd over and lost his video review. He and Lokesh Rahul put on 112 for the second wicket.
Just two balls later, Rahul played on off Ahmadzai (2-32) and was out for 54.
Afghanistan showcased better control with the ball in the final session and the scoring rate came down to 4.4 by stumps. The bowlers troubled the batsmen regularly, which resulted in a few more wickets than India anticipated.
India crossed 300 in the 60th over but then lost stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane.
After conceding 100 runs off 99 balls in his first test outing, legspinner Rashid Khan (1-120) trapped Rahane lbw in the 67th over and should have had another wicket, but Mohammad Nabi dropped Cheteshwar Pujara at slip two overs later.
Pujara was on 31 then and added four more runs until he was dismissed by Mujeeb Ur Rahman (1-69) from Nabi’s superb catch.
Dinesh Karthik was run out on 4 late in the day.