Hosts England is nearing another well-deserved victory against India in the 5th and the final Test against India at the Kennington Oval in London. It was a solid batting performance from KL Rahul in the opening session of the final day.

However, they lost two crucial wickets in the first session which put England firmly on top. But, there was a huge improvement from one batsman, and that has to be Rahul. He smashed a terrific century, his first in England and thrashed the English bowlers all around the park.

India began the day’s play on 58 for three with Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane at the crease. Rahul started with an attacking approach just like the same way he came to all guns blazing on day four. He took on the attack on the English bowlers and played some delightful shots in the process.

The Bengaluru-based batter Rahul looked in complete command. On the other hand, Rahane also gained in confidence as he spent more time in the middle.

Alastair Cook
All eyes are on Alastair Cook. PC: Getty Images.

After making 37 of as many as 105 deliveries, it was Moeen Ali who brought about the downfall of Rahane. The ball again pitched in the rough and turned enough to take the outside edge of his bat. Keaton Jennings took the catch. It was indeed a great catch. Debutant Hanuma Vihari who scored a brilliant 56 in his debut innings, was dismissed without troubling the scorers.

Rahul reached his century with a flurry of big shots. First, he smashed Ben Stokes out of the park and then struck a four of the same over to reach 94. He then struck another boundary of the same over to reach a well deserved century.

Moreover, it was a much needed for Rahul which will surely prompt the selectors to keep faith in Rahul for the tour of Australia. However, the hopes of Shikhar Dhawan of making the team in yet another overseas series at least for now seems bleak.

England vs India, 5th Test; Day Five Lunch – Brief Scores:

England 1st innings 332 all-out in 112.1 overs (Jos Buttler 89, Alastair Cook 71, Ravindra Jadeja 4/79)

India 292 all-out in 95 overs (Ravindra Jadeja 86, Hanuma Vihari 56, Moeen Ali 2/50)

England 2nd innings 423/8 in 112.3 overs (Alastair Cook 147, Joe Root 125, Hanuma Vihari 2/24)

India: 2nd innings 167 for five in 45 overs (KL Rahul 108*, 12*)