Afghanistan hit back after India centuries

CHETAN NARULA
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India Afghanistan Cricket

Mujeeb Ur Rahman's (l) Afghanistan took five wickets in the final session on day one against India

Afghanistan have hit back with five wickets after Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay scored centuries for India to finish day one of the one-off Test at 6-347.

India were cruising at 1-280 after two rain delays when they suddenly lost Vijay and Lokesh Rahul in the space of three deliveries and five wickets in all in the last session.

India lost 5-54 in the final session. Ravichandran Ashwin (7) and Hardik Pandya (10) were at the crease at sumps.

Vijay made 105 and fellow opener Dhawan 107.

Dhawan earned his seventh Test hundred off 87 balls, and became the first India batsman to score a century in the first session of the opening day of a Test.

"I didn't know that I had achieved that feat until I was back in the dressing room (during lunch)," Dhawan said. "It is a great feeling. I have been batting well, in the Tests against Sri Lanka and then in the IPL, too."

He helped India reach lunch at 0-158, but added only three more before he was dismissed by Yamin Ahmadzai, who entered the history books as the first Afghanistan bowler to take a Test wicket. Mohammad Nabi caught Dhawan at first slip, with some juggling help from the second slip fielder.

"They attacked us in the morning, especially the spinners, and were successful in scoring quickly," Ahmadzai said. "There were some nerves and we gave too many loose balls in the first two sessions.

"This was a dream come true for our nation. It was enjoyable but there were also a little stress. Getting a Test cap is the most important thing in the life of a cricketer. So I can't really put it in words. When we first went onto the field, there was excitement and some nerves as well."

Afghanistan showcased better control with the ball in the final session and the scoring rate came down to 4.4 by stumps. The bowlers troubled the batsmen regularly, which resulted in a few more wickets than India anticipated.

India crossed 300 in the 60th over but then lost stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane.

After conceding 100 runs off 99 balls in his first Test outing, legspinner Rashid Khan (1-120) trapped Rahane lbw in the 67th over and should have had another wicket when Nabi dropped Cheteshwar Pujara two overs later.

Pujara was on 31 then and added four more before he was dismissed by Mujeeb Ur Rahman (1-69) from Nabi's superb catch.