BENGALURU: All-rounder Hardik Pandya stroked his third half-century before India were all out for 474 at lunch on day two of the one-off match against test debutants Afghanistan in Bengaluru on Friday.
Pandya, known for producing decisive performances with bat and ball for India, scored 71 off 94 balls to take the hosts past 400 after a disappointing show by the middle-order on the opening day.
The visitors had clawed their way back by claiming five wickets in the final session of the first day after an aggressive Indian batting unit dominated contest through centurions Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay.
On the second morning, Afghanistan’s plan to stick with the old ball paid dividends when Ravichandran Ashwin was caught behind on 18 off seamer Yamin Ahmadzai, ending a 35-run overnight stand with Pandya.
India responded through Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja, who stepped up the scoring rate against an inexperienced Afghan bowling unit.
Jadeja, playing his first test of the calendar year, was at 20 when was caught on the long-on boundary for Mohammad Nabi’s first test wicket.
He was soon followed by Pandya in the dressing room after the 24-year-old was caught behind off Wafadar following a well-constructed knock, which included 10 glorious boundaries.
Tailender Umesh Yadav played a handy cameo of 26 for the hosts, hitting two sixes and two fours, before his partner Ishant Sharma was dismissed to bring an end to the Indian innings at the stroke of lunch.
Ahmadzai was the pick of the bowlers for Afghanistan with three wickets for 51 runs but it was a disappointing debut for spin spearhead Rashid Khan, who was hit for 154 runs for his two wickets.
Written by Sandeep
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