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Ajinkya Rahane Stands Firm With Fine Century

Ajinkya Rahane raises his bat
Ajinkya Rahane takes the plaudits following his brilliant century against England at Lord's
©REUTERS / Action Images

India 290-9 (Rahane 103, Anderson 4-55) v England
Second Test, Lord's, day one

Ajinkya Rahane batted superbly to score a second Test century and frustrate England on day one of the second Test against India on a green pitch at Lord's.

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Rahane first blunted, then took on England's attack, which did not make best use of a pitch that offered them plenty, with 103 in 154 balls.

A 90-run eighth-wicket partnership with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (36) helped India bat through the day and close on 290 for nine.

That represented an outstanding effort given that in the afternoon session, England reduced them to 145 for seven.

Both sides were unchanged and unsurprisingly, England chose to bowl first after winning the toss.

While England extracted enough movement before lunch to have Shikhar Dhawan (7) and Murali Vijay (24) caught by Gary Ballance behind the wicket off James Anderson and Liam Plunkett respectively, India would have been happy to reach the break at 73 for two.

Edges found gaps in the slip cordon and Matt Prior put down two chances - one reprieving Vijay off Stuart Broad and the other giving Virat Kohli with the last ball of the session bowled by Moeen Ali.

Kohli had raced to 20 not out in 19 balls at that point while Cheteshwar Pujara was digging in at the other end.

After lunch, Kohli reached 25 before he edged Anderson and this time Prior held on, diving to his right, to bring Pujara and Rahane together.

They pushed the score past 100 until Pujara, who faced 117 balls to make 28, was bowled by Ben Stokes who got one to sneak through his defences.

England then moved into the ascendency by removing MS Dhoni (1), Ravindra Jadeja (3) and Stuart Binny (9) in quick succession.

Dhoni edged Broad to Prior, Jadeja was trapped in front by Ali and Binny was given out leg before wicket although there was a question mark surrounding the height of the delivery as it hit him.

Meanwhile, Rahane's temperament and skill prevented England from finishing the job and he found a willing ally in Kumar, who continued to bat as he had at Trent Bridge, scoring 36 in 84 balls.

After bowling brilliantly before tea, England were nowhere near as good in the final session, giving Rahane and Kumar enough scoring opportunities to build a partnership.

As Rahane moved past 80, he accelerated, and perhaps the shot of the day was when he lifted Anderson over his head into the stands for six in a fashion reminiscent of Kevin Pietersen doing the same to Glenn McGrath back in 2005.

Swiftly, he reached a second Test century although Kumar's vigil came to an end when Broad bowled him with one that kept a touch low.

And it took a brilliant one-handed reflex catch from Anderson off his own bowling to finally see off Rahane, for 103 in 154 balls but England still couldn't bowl India out before stumps.

Mohammad Shami, unbeaten on 14, and Ishant Sharma, unbeaten on 12, frustrated England further to see their side to stumps.

Anderson will be eyeing a five-wicket haul on day two, closing on four for 55 while Broad took two for 79, Plunkett one for 51, Stokes one for 40 and Ali one for 38.

The five-match series stands at 0-0 after the opening Test at Trent Bridge was drawn.

© Cricket World 2014

Fixtures & Results

9th-13th July: 1st Test, Trent Bridge, Nottingham

India 457 & 391-9 dec. (Binny 78) drew with
England 496 (Root 154no, Anderson 81)
17th-21st July: 2nd Test, Lord's, London

India 295 & 342 (Vijay 95, Jadeja 68) beat
England 319 & 223 (Sharma 7-74) by 95 runs
27th-31st July: 3rd Test, The Ageas Bowl, Southampton

England 569-7 dec. & 205-4 dec. beat
India 330 & 178 (Ali 6-67) by 266 runs
7th-11th August: 4th Test, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester

England 367 (Root 77, Buttler 70) beat
India 152 & 166 by an innings & 54 runs
15th-19th August: 5th Test, The Kia Oval, London

England 486 (Root 149no, Cook 79) beat
India 148 & 94 by an innings & 244 runs
25th August: 1st ODI, Bristol

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain
27th August: 2nd ODI, SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff

India 304-6 (Raina 100, Woakes 4-52) beat
England 161 (Jadeja 4-28) by 133 runs (D/L)
30th August: 3rd ODI, Trent Bridge, Nottingham

India 228-4 (Rayudu 64no) beat
England 227 (Cook 44) by six wickets
2nd September: 4th ODI, Edgbaston, Birmingham

India 212-1 (Rahane 106, Dhawan 97no) beat
England 206 (Moeen Ali 67) by nine wickets
5th September: 5th ODI, Headingley, Leeds

England 294-7 (Root 113, Buttler 49) beat
India 253 (Jadeja 87) by 41 runs
7th September: T20I, Edgbaston, Birmingham

England 180-7 (Morgan 71, Hales 40)
India 177-5 (Kohli 66) by three runs