It was a historic moment for Afghanistan as they walked out to play their inaugural Test match against India at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Afghanistan produced an impressive showing especially in the final session of the match. They bagged 5 wickets for not too many runs. However, they were found wanting in the opening two sessions. The hosts piled on the agony by scoring runs quite fluently.
It was Indian stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane who won the toss and opted to bat. It was Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay who walked out in the middle to begin proceedings. Both of them began in exquisite fashion. Dhawan, in particular, look to take on the Afghanistan bowlers with disdain. He made a mockery of their bowling line-up. However, Afghanistan wasted the opportunity to get his wicket when they did not go for the review despite the southpaw apparently edging a short of length delivery from Ahmadi straight to the wicketkeeper.
Dhawan smashed 107 of a mere 96 deliveries which were studded with 19 fours and 3 hits over the fence. He was hardly bothered by the visitors. Despite the fall of his wicket, Vijay and KL Rahul consolidated on a position of strength and put on a good partnership. Vijay also went to score a fluent century but was soon dismissed soon after.
From there on the floodgates opened for Afghanistan in the final session. It was Wafadar who bagged the wicket of Murali Vijay with a good inswinging delivery. KL Rahul was also dismissed after scoring a half-century. The big blow for India was undoubtedly that of Cheteshwar Pujara as he was trying to rebuild the innings following the two quick wickets.
Sharp catch by Nabi
It was a sharp catch by Mohammad Nabi which sent Pujara back to the pavilion. Mujeeb bowled quite brilliantly in his final spell. He set up Pujara perfectly. It was a three quarter area delivery. The ball jammed on to his bat and pad and was taken brilliantly by Nabi stationed in the leg slip region.
They managed to back one more wicket in the form of Dinesh Karthik as India finished the day on 347/6 in 78 overs.
— Arya Chakraborty (@AryaMady) June 14, 2018