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Afghanistan fight back after Dhawan, Vijay centuries

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NEW DELHI: Afghanistan showed grit in the final session of their maiden venture in Test cricket as they hit back at the no. 1 ranked India with quick strikes as the hosts finished the Day 1 on 347/6.

ONLY TEST: Scorecard

Centuries from openers Shikhar Dhawan (107) and Murali Vijay (105) put India in firm control after they opted to bat in Bengaluru against Afghanistan, who made their Test debut. Then newest entrants to the Test cricket club showed some fight to take four wickets after a couple of rain-breaks in an extended session.

From 280/1, India slipped to 347/6 at the close of play with the honours shared on the opening day.

ALSO READ: Afghanistan savour a golden moment

The Afghan spinners were handed a lesson by the Indian batters which they put into use later in the day, especially Rashid Khan who was thrashed all over the park. The opening session belonged to Dhawan as he became the first Indian, sixth overall, to hit a century in the first session of a Test. His knock was studded with 19 fours and three sixes.

He was out right after the lunch break scoring 107 with Yamin Ahmadzai taking Afghanistan’s first wicket in the format.

Dhawan’s opening partner Vijay had to wait for his 12th century after rain halted the play in the second session but he immediately reached three figures with a boundary. He fell to Wafadar, after hitting 105.

KL Rahul, who walked in at No. 3 ahead of Cheteshwar Pujara, looked in fine touch as was evident with his brisk half-century. He scored 54 before chopping one from Ahmadzai onto his stumps.

Afghanistan had something to celebrate for after picking two wickets in the space of three deliveries.

Captain Ajinky Rahane and Pujara got together to steer the innings after the quick blows. They took India past the 300-run mark but right when it looked India had left the nervy phase behind, Rashid came into his own and trapped Rahane on 10 to claim his maiden Test scalp.

Afghanistan kept making further inroads as India slipped to 334/6 after the departure of Pujara (35) and Dinesh Karthik, who returned to Test cricket after a gap of eight years. His comeback innings resulted in four runs and 22 deliveries before a non-existent single resulted in him being run out.

Allrounder Hardik Pandya (10*) and R Ashwin ensured no further damage as Afghanistan learned from the initial pasting that they are quick learners with their late fightback.

Updated: June 14, 2018 — 6:24 pm

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