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Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore interacts with Indian players Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan - File Photo

An excellent half century from all-rounder Hardik Pandya steered India to a commanding 474 even as Afghanistan managed to take the remaining four wickets on the second morning of the one-off Test here on Friday.

 

Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore interacts with Indian players Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan – File Photo

India managed to add 127 runs to their overnight total of 347/6, thanks to Pandya’s (71) third Test half ton, and coupled with some cameos from the tailenders.

If statistics are to be taken into consideration, this is the third instance where a team has conceded more than 400 runs in their inaugural Test. Bangladesh (2000) and the West Indies (1928) are the other teams in the category.

Coming to the second morning of the ongoing Test, India lost overnight batsman Ravichandran Ashwin (18) on the eighth over of the day, after the off-spinner was caught behind off Yamin Ahmadzai.

Ashwin’s dismissal brought in the dangerous Ravindra Jadeja (20), who was dropped first ball off an edge.

The southpaw did well to put that scare behind him and forged a valuable 67-run eighth wicket stand with Pandya, who took the attack to the opposition after a sluggish start.

Pandya picked wrist spinner Rashid Khan for some special treatment, whacking him to the boundary line thrice before sweeping Mohammed Nabi for a four to bring up his half century in 83 balls.

Jadeja also joined the party, smoking Nabi for a six over long-on before perishing to the same bowler when he attempted one over long-off, only for the ball to land in the hands of Rahmat Shah.

Pandya soon followed his partner to the pavilion after being cramped for room and failing to cut a short ball from Wafadar, which resulted in a simple catch for keeper Afsar Zazai.

The right-hander struck 10 fours in his 94-ball effort.

With the scoreboard reading 440/9, the hosts would have been more or less satisfied but number 11 Umesh Yadav (26 not out from 21 balls; 4×2, 6×2) had other plans.

Umesh entertained the Chinnaswamy crowd with some lusty blows, which included two massive sixes off Wafadar and more importantly, helped India cross the psychological mark of 450 runs.

Together with Ishant Sharma (8), Umesh added 34 runs for the 10th wicket before Rashid trapped Ishant, ending India’s innings for 474.

For the visitors, pacer Yamin Ahmadzai was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets while fellow quick Wafadar and Rashid chipped in with two wickets each.

The other spinners Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Brief Scores: India 474 (Shikhar Dhawan 107, Murali Vijay 105, Hardik Pandya 71; Yamin Ahmadzai 3/51) vs Afghanistan.

 

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