Business Standard

Kohli, Agarwal fifties take India to 157/3 at tea on Day 1


Press Trust of India Kingston
Captain Virat Kohli and opener Mayank Agarwal hit solid half centuries to steady India's innings after initial struggle as the visiting side reached 157 for 3 at tea on the opening day of the second Test against the West Indies here on Saturday.
Kohli and Agarwal (55) stitched 69 runs from 24 overs for the third wicket to begin India's re-building after they were reduced to 46 for 2 in 17 overs in the morning session.
The Indian captain, who gained in confidence after the initial hard work, was batting on 52 off 125 deliveries at the tea break. He has hit seven fours so far.
First Test centurion Ajinkya Rahane was giving Kohli company on 20 from 51 deliveries from which he hit three boundaries. Rahane was quite at ease so far in his innings as the pitch, which had grass in the morning, appeared to have eased out a bit.
The captain-vice captain duo has so far put together 43 runs from 18.1 overs for the unbroken fourth wicket as India lost just one wicket in the post-lunch session as compared to two in the morning session.
India added 85 runs in the second session from 29 overs as they worked through to 157 for 3 from 59 overs. The visiting side resumed the second session at 72 for 2.
It was opener Agarwal who laid the foundation of the Indian rebuilding with a solid batting display. Playing in his fourth Test, the 28-year-old Agarwal reached to his fifty as he edged a Kemar Roach delivery to the boundary ropes.
Agarwal fell inside the first hour of the post-lunch session after scoring his third career half century. His cut shot in the 41st over of the India innings went straight to first slip fielder Rakheem Cornwall. His 55 came from 127-balls from which he hit seven boundaries.
Kohli took time to settle down on a tricky pitch as he took 16 balls to open his account during the morning session. He was tested by the tight bowling from the West Indians, especially by debutant off-spinner Rakheem Cornwall (1/41).
The Indian captain gained in confidence as the match wore on and he hit two exquisite cover drives towards the end of the second session. Resuming on individual score on 31 in the second session, he reached to his 22nd career half century off a single in the 55th over bowled by Shannon Gabriel.
Earlier, India laboured their way to 72 for 2 from 30 overs after opener KL Rahul (13) and Cheteshwar Pujara (6) were dismissed cheaply in the opening session on a Sabina Park pitch which had some grass on it.
After West Indies captain Jason Holder opted to field, Rahul and Agarwal negotiated the first half an hour without taking any risk on a tricky pitch.
Holder introduced himself in the seventh over and immediately got the breakthrough by having the wicket of Rahul to break the 32-run opening stand.
Pujara, who came after Rahul's departure in the seventh over, struggled again as he took 15 deliveries to open his account and was finally out for 6 which came from 25 balls.
The bounce extracted by 26-year-old off-spinner Cornwall, who stands at 6ft and 5 inches and weights more than 140kg, did brought Pujara's downfall as he hit straight to the hands of Shamarh Brooks.

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First Published: Aug 31 2019 | 1:15 AM IST

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