Chances to have a result in the first India-England Test diminished after the visitors reached 114/0 at stumps on day four in Rajkot. England now lead by 163 runs in second innings with only one day left in the match. Openers Alastair Cook and Haseeb Hameed put the initial struggle past them to take the team to close of play without any loss.
19-year-old Hameed, who is making a debut, scored his maiden Test half-century. He played a sublime innings and left everyone in awe of his stroke making, especially a straight six off Ravindra Jadea.
Earlier in the day, England bowled out India for 488 in the first innings to secure a 49-run lead. England could have scored runs at brisk pace in the second innings but captain Cook and Hameed did not show any signs of hurry and has brought down the possibility of a result in the first match.
India bowlers proved to ineffective on a pitch that assisted England spinners especially Adil Rashid who picked up four wickets for 114 runs. Moeen Ali and Zafar Ansari took two wickets each while Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes took a wicket each.
India managed to play out two session on Saturday after R Ashwin played an important innings of 70 which lifted India to 488. He shared a 64-run stand for the seventh wicket with Wriddhiman Sah (35) to reduce the deficit.
India resumed the day at 319/4 and Ajinkya Rahane walked out to bat with Virat Kohli. They added 30 runs to the overnight score without any trouble before Rahane was bowled by Ansari off a straight delivery.
Kohli looked untroubled for his 40 but was out hit-wicket when he stepped on the leg-stump after playing a pull shot off Rashid. He stood at the pitch in disbelief but had to make the walk back the pavilion.
Ashwin was exceptional as he defied England bowlers and with Saha helped India cross the 400-run mark. The latter was dismissed by Ali after he was caught behind trying to cut.
This exposed India’s tail and they ended up 49 runs short of England’s total.