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  Sports   Cricket  14 Oct 2018  Panther on the prowl

Panther on the prowl

Published : Oct 14, 2018, 1:42 am IST
Updated : Oct 14, 2018, 1:42 am IST

Pant also found his name being chanted by the crowd, probably a first at international stage for the young batsman.

Rishabh Pant celebrates his half-century against West Indies. (Photo: P. Surendra)
 Rishabh Pant celebrates his half-century against West Indies. (Photo: P. Surendra)

Hyderabad: Rishabh Pant and Ajinkya Rahane pulled India out of a precarious position on the second day and looked set for big scores as the hosts moved within touching distance of the West Indies total with six wickets in hand in what has been an entertaining second Test so far.

After the hosts had slipped to 162 for 4 after the fall of captain Virat Kohli, Pant and Rahane wrested the initiative with an unfinished stand of 146 runs for the fifth wicket to take the home total to 308 for 4, just three shy of the visitors’ 311 that was built on Roston Chase’s century.

While Pant (85 in 120 balls) was his aggressive self, Rahane (75 in 174 balls) showcased patience. The left and right handed batsmen complemented each other in the centre.

Pant unleashed power-packed strokes around the wicket to rattle the Caribbeans with 10 fours and two sixes. He got lucky too, having been dropped by substitute wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton off speedster Shannon Gabriel while on 24.

Rahane gradually got into the groove and bolstered the innings. His effortless, straight drive off Gabriel to move from 33 to 37 was a delight to watch.

Eventually, Pant and Rahane got to their half-centuries in quick succession. The 18,500 spectators in the stands celebrated the twin feats with a few rounds of full-throated Mexican waves. Given his penchant for powerplay,

Pant also found his name being chanted by the crowd, probably a first at international stage for the young batsman.

Prithvi Shaw (70) was the other performer. The newbie looked set to score his second successive century as he got runs at a fast clip. His piercing drives were a treat as was the timing and tenacity for an 18-year-old. At 45, he got a reprieve though. A sharp cut off left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican flew fast to slip and Shai Hope could only manage to get his hand at an awkward height before the ball bounced away. Soon, Shaw got to this half-century, to a thunderous applause from the weekend crowd. The youngster continued to drive comfortably until a gear shift brought his journey to a sudden halt — Shimron Hetmyer at extra cover pulled off a quick catch off Warrican. Shaw’s show ended at 70 that came off 53 balls and included 11 boundaries and a six.

In walked Kohli to a roar from the crowd that used to be reserved for Sachin Tendulkar, and got into the act straightaway. He punched a few boundaries and looked confident until undone by a faster one from Holder that rapped him on the pads, prompting the umpire’s finger to go up. The review didn’t help, and the Indian captain was back in the pavilion. Kohli had put on a fine stand of 60 with Rahane for the 4th wicket.

Highs for Roston, Umesh

Earlier in the day, needing two runs to complete his century, Roston Chase quickly got to his well-deserved three-figure mark, the fourth of his career, before being the ninth man out, bowled by pacer Umesh Yadav for 106.

Having picked all three Windies wickets to fall on the second morning, Umesh returned with his career best figures of 6/88. Later, West Indies lost wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich who suffered a nasty blow to his left knee as he tried to collect a low ball from Gabriel and had to be carried off the field.

Tags: ajinkya rahane, rishabh pant, virat kohli