Ajinkya Rahane century rescues India at Lord's

Jul 18 2014, 00:59 IST
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SummaryTourists recover from 145-7 to 290-9

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 on Thursday.

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. 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, helped by field placings that at times saw five or six fielders on the boundary, to ensure England will have to come out and bowl on Friday morning.

"I just wanted to be myself and play my game, I was just talking to myself, I wanted to play as close (to my body) as possible and play my shots," Rahane told a news conference.

"First session they bowled a little bit short and second session they came with a different plan and (pitched) a little bit up.

"That sort of line on this wicket will suit our bowlers as well. Tomorrow is going to be a crucial day... it's not going to be easy for the English batsman either."

MARKED CONTRAST

The Lord's surface was in marked contrast to the one used in Nottingham, which came in for fierce criticism for its placid nature as the first match of the five-test series petered out to a tame draw.

After being presented with a pitch to their liking, England initially failed to grasp the opportunity to make significant inroads into the Indian line-up, 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

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