Kohli, Rahane fall short in India fightback

Sunday, August 19, 2018

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NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom (AFP) — India Captain Virat Kohli fell three runs short of a hundred, but had the satisfaction of leading a batting revival on the first day of the third Test against England at Trent Bridge yesterday.

At stumps India were 307 for six after losing the toss.

A day of fluctuating fortunes ended when James Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, struck with the new ball to have Hardik Pandya (18) caught by Jos Buttler at second slip.

That meant Anderson, who prior to this match had 60 Test wickets at Trent Bridge at just 18.95, had become only the second bowler after Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan to take 100 Test wickets against India.

Earlier India, sent into bat at 0-2 down in a five-match series on a ground renowned for aiding swing, were in trouble at 82 for three come lunch.

Chris Woakes took all those wickets en route to figures of three for 75 in 20 overs.

But a fourth-wicket partnership of 159 between Kohli (97) and Vice-Captain Ajinkya Rahane (81), that spanned more than 40 overs, revived India.

Unfortunately for India, neither batsman reached three figures with Kohli — who made a superb first Test century in England in the series opener at Edgbaston — dismissed when, driving at an Adil Rashid leg-break, he edged to Ben Stokes at slip.

“I think 307 for six is a good score on this wicket,” Rahane told Sky Sports.

Woakes told reporters: “It was an even day overall.”

Much of the pre-match attention had been focused on Stokes, recalled just days after his acquittal on Tuesday by a court on an affray charge that stemmed from a fight outside a Bristol nightclub in September last year.

But until his catch to dismiss Kohli, it had been a frustrating day for Stokes, whose 15 wicketless overs cost 54 runs.

India were well-placed at 60 for none when Woakes took two wickets for one run in nine balls to remove both openers, with Shikhar Dhawan (35) caught at second slip before KL Rahul (23) was lbw.

And on the stroke of lunch, Cheteshwar Pujara hooked Woakes — man-of-the-match after scoring a maiden Test century in England's innings and 159-run win in the second Test at Lord's last week after replacing Stokes — straight to Rashid at long leg.

But Kohli, who on Friday had urged India “to stand up”, was as good as his word, while showing no sign of the back trouble that hampered him at Lord's, as he and Rahane treated an engrossed crowd to a traditional top-order Test partnership.

It was a fitting way for India to honour Ajit Wadekar, whose death at age 77 was announced on Wednesday, as were the black armbands they wore in memory of the first India captain to enjoy a Test series victory in England, back in 1971.


India 1st Innings

S Dhawan c Buttler b Woakes 35

KL Rahul lbw b Woakes 23

C Pujara c Rashid b Woakes 14

V Kohli c Stokes b Rashid 97

A Rahane c Cook b Broad 81

H Pandya c Buttler b Anderson 18

R Pant not out 22

Extras (b12, lb4, w1) 17

Total (6 wkts, 87 overs, 391 mins) 307

To bat: R Ashwin, I Sharma, M Shami, J Bumrah

Fall of wickets: 1-60 (Dhawan), 2-65 (Rahul), 3-82 (Pujara), 4-241 (Rahane), 5-279 (Kohli)

Bowling: Anderson 22-8-52-1; Broad 21-6-64-1; Stokes 15-1-54-0 (1w); Woakes 20-2-75-3; Rashid 9-0-46-1

England: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (capt), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

Toss: England

Umpires: Chris Gaffaney (NZL), Marais Erasmus (RSA)

TV umpire: Aleem Dar (PAK)

Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)

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