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PHOTOS: Rahane rescues India on rain-hit Day 1

Source: PTI
Last updated on: August 23, 2019 02:51 IST
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Images from Day 1 of the first Test between West Indies and India in Antigua, on Thursday.

Suresh Raina

IMAGE: Ajinkya Rahane celebrates after completing his half-century. Photograph: BCCI

Ajinkya Rahane rescued India with a gritty half-century before rain ended play early, on Day 1 of the first Test against West Indies, in Antigua, on Thursday.


Vice-captain Rahane hit a solid 81 as India recovered after a few early wickets to reach 203 for six in 68.5 overs at stumps after they were put into bat. Rishabh Pant (20) and Ravindra Jadeja (3) were the two unbeaten batsmen at end of play.

Rahane, who hit 10 fours in his 163-ball knock, put on 68 runs for the fourth wicket with KL Rahul (44) to steady the visitors after a horror start.

Kemar Roach took two wickets in a single over -- that of Mayank Agarwal (5) and Cheteshwar Pujara (2) -- to rock India early.

IMAGE: West Indies players celebrate the wicket of Hanuma Vihari. Photograph: BCCI

They found themselves in further mess as captain Virat Kohli was caught in the gully off Shannon Gabriel after scoring just nine as India slipped to 25 for three.

Rahane then led the recovery in the company of Rahul, before the latter was caught down the leg side off Roston Chase.

Rahane also put on 82 runs for the fifth wicket with Hanuma Vihari (32), who also failed to carry on after getting off to a start as he was caught behind off Roach.

Gabriel dented India further with the vital scalp of Rahane, who was bowled off an inside edge.

There were quite a few rain interruptions during Day 1 as only 68.5 overs were bowled during the day.

IMAGE: Ajinkya Rahane, left, and KL Rahul run between the wickets. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, Rahane battled his way through a shaky start to score a fighting half-century taking India to 134/4 at tea on the opening day.

The Indian vice-captain scored the 18th half-century of his career and was unbeaten on 50 off 122 balls at the end of the second session, when umpires called tea early due to rain.

The other significant contribution came from opener KL Rahul, who made 44 from 97 balls, before frittering it away after the post lunch session.

Rahul, who looked solid despite a top-order collapse was out for 44 in the post-lunch session after wicketkeeper Shai Hope took a smart catch down leg-side off Roston Chase's bowling.

Ajinkya Rahane

IMAGE: Ajinkya Rahane hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

This was after Rahul along with an initially circumspect Rahane added 68 runs for the fourth wicket.

Rahane, who has been in poor form for the past two years, was in his element in the post lunch session, where he hit a flurry boundaries including some lovely drives.

A square and straight drive off Shannon Gabriel and a cover drive of Kemar Roach signalled his intentions. Although he should consider himself lucky after a mistimed lofted shot off Chase was dropped by Miguel Cummins, who tried latching onto the catch running backeards from mid-on and wicketkeeper Hope failed to take a sharp catch down the leg side off the same bowler.

Rahane took two runs off Cummins to complete his half-century, while he also completed 10,000 runs in first-class cricket.

IMAGE: Kemar Roach successfully appeals for the wicket of Mayank Agarwal. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, Opener KL Rahul put up a gritty fight with a circumspect Rahane as India partially recovered from a top-order collapse to reach 68 for 3 at lunch on the opening day.

Rahul, who had a wretched 18 months in the red-ball format, before this Test match, was composed during his unbeaten 37 after India were reduced to 25 for 3 inside the first eight overs on a track that offered bounce and lateral movement for new ball bowlers Kemar Roach (2/12 in 6 overs) and Shannon Gabriel (1/26 in 7 overs).

Mayank Agarwal (5), the ever-dependable Cheteshwar Pujara (2) and skipper Virat Kohli (9) were back in the pavilion in the first hour after Jason Holder put the visitors in on a bouncy track.

Rahul  and vice-captain Rahane stemmed the rot going into the lunch break after 24 overs were bowled during the opening session.

IMAGE: West Indies players celebrate the wicket of India captain Virat Kohli. Photograph: BCCI

Agarwal got one from Roach, which held its line and the opener didn't fully commit forward with the resultant edge being gobbled by Shai Hope behind the stumps.

The dogged Pujara didn't last long as he got a delivery from Roach that moved a shade away after pitching with India's No. 3 poking away from his body to be caught behind..

Skipper Kohli relishes such adverse situations and tough conditions but it wasn't his day despite a promising start that included a drive past point and another past mid-on.

However, Kohli steered a short wide delivery straight to debutant Shamarh Brooks in the gully off Gabriel.

KL Rahul

IMAGE: KL Rahul bats during Day 1. Photograph: BCCI

It could have been worse but a determined Rahul put his head down and left a lot of deliveries outside off-stump as Rahane also defended dourly at the other end, waiting for Roach and Gabriel's first spell to end.

It was only when back-up pacer Miguel Cummins came into operation that Rahul collected three of his four boundaries -- a cut and a couple of off-drives.

Not for once did Rahane look comfortable during the first session and battled quite hard before the lunch break. His first boundary was off the outside edge which bounced short of second slip before going for four runs, while he pulled a short ball to register his second boundary.

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