Kohli, Rahane fifties put India in command of 1st Test

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane struck half-centuries to rescue India from 81 for three and take the team to 260 runs ahead of the West Indies.

Published : Aug 25, 2019 08:46 IST

Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli have put together an unbeaten 104-run stand.
Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli have put together an unbeaten 104-run stand.

Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli have put together an unbeaten 104-run stand.

India built a commanding 260-run lead over West Indies with seven second-innings wickets still in hand at the close of play on the third day of the first Test.

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane enjoyed an unbroken partnership of 104 for the fourth wicket at North Sound, with a successful chase for the Windies becoming increasingly improbable with each passing ball.

The host had been 189-8 at the start of play and quick Indian progress had it all out for 222, 75 runs short of the tourist's first-innings total.

That gave the India batsmen a platform to build from and, despite a minor wobble as wickets fell in consecutive overs in the second session, its advantage continued to steadily increase.

Kohli was on 51 and Rahane on 53 as the Windies struggled for make further inroads, with India closing on 185-3.

Read: Jadeja happy to repay Kohli's faith with fighting fifty

The growing deficit was harsh on home captain Jason Holder, who battled bravely after returning to the crease on 10 on Saturday morning.

He made 39 before Mohammed Shami dismissed him. The innings swiftly closed as Miguel Cummins fell for a 45-ball duck, giving India a healthy lead.

Mayank Agarwal provided only minor improvement on his first knock of five as he departed lbw to Roston Chase for 16, although replays showed he would have survived had he reviewed the on-field umpire's decision.

Rahul (38) kept going and put on 43 with Cheteshwar Pujara (25) until, in a rare and brief swing of momentum, the duo lost their wickets in quick succession to leave their side on 81-3.

Chase benefited from Rahul's decision-making when an attempted sweep left middle stump exposed, before Kemar Roach went straight through Pujara.

Yet that only brought Kohli and Rahane to the crease and neither man appeared in any mood to deliver similar gifts, digging in and slowly but surely cranking up the score.

Rahane was fortunate to see Holder opt against reviewing a non-lbw call just before his half-century, but that was as testing as it got for India late in the day.

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