Vijay shines on a gloomy day

Cricket ; Stylish opener slams 150 as India reach 462/6 on a start-stop third day

Vijay shines on a gloomy day
 Murali Vijay’s 150 lit up an otherwise gloomy day as India reached 462/6 with rain and Shakib Al Hasan regularly halting their drive for quick runs on the third day of the one-off cricket Test here on Friday.

Ravichandran Ashwin (2) and Harbhajan Singh (7) were holding fort for India when rain came pouring down and washed off the final session of play.

Starting the second session after a one-and-a-half-hour delay due to rain during lunch time, India lost Vijay as Shakib (4-105), who had already taken two wickets in the first session, got the opener lbw to break a 114-run fourth-wicket partnership.

Touching the 150-run mark, Vijay missed a sweep shot that hit him on the back pad and even though the point of impact looked outside the off stump, umpire Kumar Dharmasena raised the dreaded finger. Leg-spinner Jubair Hossian (2-113) also joined the party to clean up Wriddhiman Saha (6) with a well-disguised googly, which the wicketkeeper batsman was unable to read while going for an expansive drive.

Shakib continued his wicket-taking run as his arm ball denied Ajinkya Rahane (98) his fourth Test century. With a clear intent to push the scoring rate, Rahane went for an aggressive pull but the ball crashed on to the off stump. Earlier, starting on 239 for no loss after the second day’s play was lost due to rain, India moved on cautiously with Vijay reaching his sixth Test ton in the eighth over of the day but the Shakib-led spin attack had other ideas.

With play starting half-an-hour early to cover up for lost time, Shakib struck with his left-arm spin to send Shikhar Dhawan (173) back to the pavilion in the 68th over of the innings. Coming down the track to counter Shakib’s spin, the left-handed Dhawan found a leading edge as the ball lobbed into the waiting hands of the bowler.

The 283-run opening stand though fell six runs short of the record first-wicket partnership (289) between the duo in Mohali against Australia in March 2013, which was Dhawan’s debut. New-man Rohit Sharma (6) could not even settle in as Shakib bagged another wicket for his side on a track that is looking spin-friendly on the third day.

Looking to drive a length ball, Rohit could only see his off-stump disturbed much to the delight of the Bangladeshi players. With their tail up, the spinners got Vijay and Indian skipper Virat Kohli (14) on the defence even as the duo managed to find a few ambitious hits to the fence.

Jubair then broke through in the 75th over to get the prized wicket of Kohli. The Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium exploded when Jubair delivered the googly spot on as a driving Kohli got an inside edge on to his pads and the ball rolled on to the stumps.

The Mushfiqur Rahim-led Bangladesh continued with the old ball even after the 80th over as spinners tried hard to fetch another wicket. Even though Jubair had a few close calls and the hosts took the second new-ball in the 89th over, Vijay and Rahane played out the remaining session without much drama.

score board

INDIA (I Innings; O/n: 239/0):
Vijay lbw Shakib    150
Dhawan c & b Shakib    173
Rohit b Shakib    6
Kohli b Jubair    14
Rahane b Shakib    98
Saha b Jubair    6
Ashwin (batting)    2
Harbhajan (batting)    7
Extras (B-4, LB-1, NB-1)    6
Total (for 6 wkts; 103.3 overs)    462
Fall of wickets: 1-283, 2-291, 3-310, 4-424, 5-445, 6-453.
Bowling: Shahid 22-2-88-0, Sarkar 3-0-11-0, Hom 14-0-52-0, Shakib Al Hasan 24.3-1-105-4, Taijul 20-0-85-0, Jubair 19-1-113-2,  Kayes 1-0-3-0. 


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