• Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Rahul, Jadeja power India’s lead in first England Test

KL Rahul’s classy 86 helped India eclipse England’s first-innings total of 246

India’s KL Rahul plays a shot during the second day of the first Test cricket match between India and England at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on January 26, 2024. (Photo by Noah SEELAM / AFP) / — IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE — (Photo by NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

KL RAHUL hit 86 and Ravindra Jadeja closed in on a half-century Friday (26) to push India’s lead to 63 runs on day two of the opening Test against England.

India were 309-5 at tea with Jadeja on 45 and wicketkeeper-batsman K S Bharat on nine at tea in Hyderabad.

Rahul’s anchoring 86 ended with a big heave on a long-hop from Test debutant Tom Hartley that landed in the palms of Rehan Ahmed at deep mid-wicket.

It was Hartley’s second strike of the day after Shubman Gill.

Rahul’s exit ended a 65-run stand with the left-handed Jadeja, who stood firm and kept up the attack to entertain a crowd of more than 25,000 fans taking advantage of the Republic Day national holiday.

England struck in the third over after lunch when Shreyas Iyer holed out to deep mid-wicket for 35 off leg-spinner Ahmed.

India lost overnight batting duo Yashasvi Jaiswal and Gill inside the first hour of play after resuming on 119-1.

Left-hander Jaiswal added four to his overnight 76 with a boundary on the second ball but was dismissed after lobbing the fourth ball of the day back to spinner Joe Root, who jumped high to take the catch.

Rahul and Gill, who started the day on 14, attempted to rebuild in a partnership of 36 but Hartley broke through with his left-arm spin.

Hartley had a bruising introduction to Test cricket when Jaiswal greeted him with a six on the first ball. He leaked 63 runs in nine overs on day one.

A loose shot from Gill got him caught at mid-wicket on 23 and an overjoyed Hartley celebrated with the team.

England played their attacking “Bazball” brand of cricket electing to bat at the start of the five-match series and managed 246 courtesy of skipper Ben Stokes’ 70.

(AFP)

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