Fifth Test: Rahul misses double ton as India post 391/4 (Roundup)
Chennai, Dec 18 (IANS) Lokesh Rahul missed out on a double century as India posted 391/4 in their first innings at stumps on the third day of the fifth and final cricket Test against England here on Sunday.
The hosts now trail by 86 runs England’s first innings score of 477.
At the close of the day’s play, Karun Nair was batting on 71 with Murali Vijay (17 batting) at the other end.
Rahul missed out his maiden double-century as he was dismised while on 199.
Rahul’s fellow opener Parthiv Patel scored 71 to register his sixth half-century in Test cricket.
For England, Stuart Broad, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid claimed a wicket each.
Rahul batted brilliantly over 311 balls for his 199, hitting 16 boundaries and three sixes along the way.
But nerves and impatience got the better of him a single run short of his double-century as he went after a wide delivery outside the off-stump. The ball kissed the top edge of the bat and ballooned up for an easy catch for Jos Buttler at cover.
Rahul’s score is the second highest by an Indian opener against England after the Sunil Gavaskar who had piled up 221 at the Oval in 1979.
A total of nine batsmen have been dismissed on 199 in Test cricket. Rahul is the second Indian on that list after Mohammad Azharuddin, who was dismissed on that score against Sri Lanka in Kanpur on December 17, 1986.
Rahul has now notched up four Test centuries since the start of 2015, the most by an Indian opener over that period.
His four centuries have come off 17 innings. Over this period, Murali Vijay has notched up three tons in 26 knocks and Shikhar Dhawan two in 16.
Earlier, resuming the day at 60/0, Rahul and wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel completed their respective half-centuries as the hosts gave a perfect reply to England’s handsome first innings total.
Patel, who has shown excellent form with the bat after returning to the Indian team following a gap of eight years, scored 71 runs before stepping out to Ali only to top-edge a spinning delivery to Jos Buttler at cover.
Patel’s 112-ball stay in the middle contained seven hits to the fence. This was his sixth half-century in Test cricket.
Rahul and Patel made their intentions clear from the very beginning, as the latter drove brilliantly towards mid-on off a delivery from pacer Stuart Broad in only the second over of the day.
Then, it was Rahul who hammered two sixes — both over long-on — in the third and fifth over bowled by left-arm spinner Liam Dawson. Broad too was at the receiving end of the punishment from Rahul and Patel.
As the duo reached their 100-run stand with smooth batting display, the runs came at a steady clip.
Parthiv, who scored his sixth 50 in Test cricket, hit seven boundries during his 71-run knock that ended when the left-hander top-edged a spinning delivery from Moeen Ali to Jos Buttler at cover.
Rahul was unbeaten on 133 runs at tea with Karun Nair on 19 at the other end.
India lost the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Virat Kohli cheaply between the lunch and tea breaks.
Pujara edged a Ben Stokes delivery to Alistair Cook in the slips while Kohli’s attempted drive off Stuart Broad found Keaton Jennings at extra cover.
Karun Nair joined Rahul at the crease following Kohli’s departure and the duo proceeded to consolidate India’s position with a 161-run stand.