Afghanistan face sky-high expectations at home ahead of their historic first-ever Test match starting Thursday against India. It will be a historic moment for Asghar Stanikzai’s team when they step out for their maiden five-day outing against the world’s number one Test side.
India’s stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and has no hesitation on batting first at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru. The Afghan’s Test bow hasn’t gone to plan so far with openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay putting up a rapid unbeaten 158-run stand before lunch was taken.
Dhawan slammed a quick-fire century in just 87 balls to become the first Indian to score a century before lunch on day one of Test match. He fell shortly after the interval for 107 (96) as he became Afghanistan’s maiden Test dismissal with Yamin Ahmadzai being the wicket-taker.
After India were on top for most of the day, Afghanistan came storming back in the final session to pick up five more wickets as the hosts ended the day at 347-6.
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The former Australia coach, who resigned in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal which occurred during Australia’s tour of South Africa, was not happy with some of the shenanigans which occurred during the first ODI between the two sides on Wednesday at the Oval.
Before the start of the match, an advertising stunt saw pieces of ‘Australian ball-tampering grade sandpaper’ being handed out to fans entering the ground.
It was reported that over 5, 000 of these cards were confiscated by authorities inside the ground.
The stunt was in response to the ball-tampering episode in which Cameron Bancroft had been caught on camera shining the ball with a sandpaper.
Lehmann took to Twitter to express his disapproval at the advertising stunt to British journalist Alison Mitchell. The journalist had posted an image of the sandpaper cards being handed out to fans outside the stadium.
Lehmann wrote, “Your better than that @AlisonMitchell?”
It has to be said that before the start of the series, Australia’s newly appointed coach Justin Langer and ODI captain Tim Paine had stated that they expected to cop some punishment from their Ashes rivals during the five-match ODI series and one-off T20I.
I’m pretty lucky being in the middle I can’t hear anything,” Paine had said at the press conference before the start of the series.
“I haven’t spoken to the (other guys) but there wasn’t any talk of copping too much stick out there which is nice.
“Maybe if we win a few games they might.”
Australia were beaten by three wickets on Wednesday as England took a 1-0 lead in the series.
After stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and elected to bat first, the India opener struck a rapid 87-ball century before lunch as the hosts piled on the runs at a brisk pace in the first session.
In the process, Dhawan became only the sixth batsmen in Test cricket history to register a ton before lunch on day one. He is the first Indian batsman to do and only the second in the world after Australia’s David Warner to achieve the feat in the last four decades.
Dhawan was his usual attacking self as he cut and drove fiercely. He had formed an unbeaten 158-run partnership with his opening partner Murali Vijay by the time lunch was taken on day one at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.
Shikhar Dhawan becomes just 6th batsman in Test history and first Indian to score 100 before lunch on day-one.— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) June 14, 2018
Previous five: David Warner, Majid Khan, Don Bradman, Charlie Macartney, Victor Trumper. #INDvAFG
Dhawan entered the record books once again, this time post lunch as he became Afghanistan’s maiden Test wicket.
The left-hander fell shortly after lunch while attempting to drive pacer Yamin Ahmadzai through the covers. He could only find a thick edge as the ball flew towards Rahmat Shah at second-slip who failed to grab on to the chance. However, Mohammad Nabi was alert at first-slip and pounced on the rebound to complete Afghanistan’s maiden Test dismissal.
With that, 25-year-old Amhadzai ensured that his name will remain etched in the history of Afghanistan cricket just as Boyd Rankin had done for Ireland in their maiden Test against Pakistan recently.