Rahane century saves India’s first innings at Lord’s

103 ensures visitors rally to 290 for nine at close

India’s Ajinkya Rahane leaves the field after being dismissed for 103 runs during the second Test against England at Lord’s. Photograph: Philip Brown/Reuters

India’s Ajinkya Rahane leaves the field after being dismissed for 103 runs during the second Test against England at Lord’s. Photograph: Philip Brown/Reuters

Fri, Jul 18, 2014, 08:17

Ajinkya Rahane scored a well-compiled century to help rescue India’s first innings on the opening day of the second Test against England at Lord’s.

England had reduced the visitors to 145 for seven on a bowler-friendly pitch early in the final session, but Rahane’s 103, along with support from number nine Bhuvneshwar Kumar (36), ensured India had rallied to 290 for nine at the close.

Having won the toss and elected to bowl, the hosts initially struggled to find their rhythm on a green-looking surface, taking only two wickets before lunch.

However, a four-wicket burst in the middle session followed by another dismissal shortly after tea put England in control before Rahane’s late assault.

Caught-and-bowled

Rahane’s knock, which included 15 fours and a six, was ended by a sharp caught-and-bowled effort by James Anderson late in the day. Tail-enders Ishant Sharma (12) and Mohammed Shami (14) safely navigated the closing overs, to ensure England will have to come out and bowl this morning.

After being presented with a pitch to their liking, England initially failed to grasp the opportunity, with openers Shikhar Dhawan (7) and Murali Vijay (24) the only wickets to fall before lunch.

However, four more dismissals in the middle session put the hosts in the driving seat. Anderson had the dangerous Virat Kohli caught by Matt Prior for 25, the wicketkeeper looking slightly sheepish after dropping two catches before lunch, while Ben Stokes knocked back Cheteshwar Pujara’s middle stump after an obdurate 28 from 117 balls.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who raised England’s ire after Anderson was reported for an incident involving Ravindra Jadeja at Trent Bridge, received a frosty reception from the Lord’s crowd and much to their delight, lasted only 17 balls before being caught by Prior off Stuart Broad for one.

Trapped lbw

Jadeja was trapped lbw by Moeen Ali for three, leaving India in disarray at 128 for six . Stuart Binny (9) was also out leg before.

However, Rahane, in his seventh Test, took advantage of England’s tiring bowling attack and brought up his second test century with a stab through to the offside boundary off Anderson.

He put on 90 with Kumar before the latter was bowled by Broad.

The 31-year-old Anderson’s four-wicket haul made him England’s most successful wicket taker on home soil, surpassing Fred Trueman’s tally of 229, and he also eclipsed Ian Botham (69) by becoming the highest test wicket taker at Lord’s with 72 victims.

“I think there is a bit of frustration, especially the last session there with the tail hanging around with Rahane, but you’ve got to give credit to him, the way he played,” all-rounder Ben Stokes said.

“It was a really good knock. “But from a positive side, we had them 140 for seven, taking away from today is that we keep knocking their top order over.”

Paid tribute

He also paid tribute to Anderson, who did not let a misconduct charge that could rule him out for up to four tests distract him.

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