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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 October 2018

Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant combine to put Indian in control against West Indies

Batsmen put on a 146-run fifth-wicket stand to rescue the hosts from 162-4 after bowling out the West Indies for 311

Ajinkya Rahane in action during Day 2 of the Test between Indian and West Indies in Hyderabad. AP Photo
Ajinkya Rahane in action during Day 2 of the Test between Indian and West Indies in Hyderabad. AP Photo

Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant hit contrasting half-centuries to put India on course for a sizeable first innings lead against the West Indies in the second Test on Saturday.

The hosts were 308-4 at stumps, trailing the West Indies by three runs after Rahane, 75, and Pant, 85, put together an unbeaten 146-run fifth-wicket stand in Hyderabad.

Paceman Umesh Yadav also played a part in India's dominance with career-best figures of 6-88 that helped bowl out the West Indies for 311 early in the morning session.

In reply, India were in trouble at 162-4 with West Indies captain Jason Holder taking two wickets, including his counterpart Virat Kohli's prized scalp in the afternoon session.

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But the right-left batting combination of Rahane and Pant then ensured a wicketless final session.

Rahane played a cautious knock to register his 15th Test fifty while Pant was his swashbuckling self, hitting 10 fours and two big sixes in 120 balls.

It was Pant's second successive 50-plus score after his 92 in India's first Test victory at Rajkot.

"We have two set batsmen ... very heartening to see the way Rishabh and Ajinkya have approached the innings because both have been patient and very disciplined," India's batting coach Sanjay Bangar told reporters.

"Ideally if we can bat another two sessions we will be in a great position."

Teenage opener Prithvi Shaw also smashed 70 off 53 balls as India mounted a strong reply, only to lose to their way after lunch.

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Shaw fell to left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican after hitting 11 fours and a six and Pujara went for 10 in the very next over off paceman Shannon Gabriel.

Kohli tried to steady the innings with some fluent strokeplay as he built a 60-run partnership with Rahane but was denied what could have been his 20th Test fifty.

Holder, who scored 52 in the first innings, trapped Kohli lbw for 45. He also bowled opener Lokesh Rahul for four in the morning session.

The West Indies were hit by injury to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich early in the Indian innings, and were forced to replace him with substitute Jahmar Hamilton behind the stumps.

Hamilton was far from convincing and apart from a few misses down the leg side he dropped Pant on 24 off Gabriel.

Earlier, Yadav, who lost his pace partner in debutant Shardul Thakur due to a groin strain on day one, picked all the three West Indian wickets in the morning after the tourists started on 295-7.

Roston Chase top-scored with 106, his fourth Test ton. He was eventually bowled by Yadav.

"Umesh got the better of me today but I am still pleased with the century. It is my first century away from home, so it is a special one for me," said Chase.

Yadav also got Gabriel on the next ball to become the first Indian paceman to get six wickets on home soil since Javagal Srinath's 6-45 against New Zealand at Mohali in 1999.