India vs England: Late wickets give visitors hope after Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Vijay's tons

Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay hit centuries as India attempted to close the gap with England on the third day of a run-laden first Test in Rajkot on Friday.

AFP, Nov, 11 2016

Rajkot: Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay hit centuries as India mounted a steady counter-attack on the third day of a high-scoring first Test against England on Friday.

Top-ranked India finished the day on a strong 319-4 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association ground in Rajkot, supported by the duo's performance.

Pujara made 124 off 206 balls before being dismissed by first-innings centurion Ben Stokes, but owes his ninth Test century and third against England to the Decision Review System.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay bump fists on the third day of the first Test against England. AFP

Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay bump fists on the third day of the first Test against England. AFP

The right-handed batsman was ruled lbw on 86 but the TV umpire -- which long-time sceptics India are using for the first time in a home series -- overturned the decision after the ball-tracker showed Zafar Ansari's delivery going over the top of the stumps.

Vijay hit 126 during a marathon eight-hour innings and shared 209 runs for the second wicket with Pujara.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli was batting on 26 at stumps while nightwatchman Amit Mishra was dismissed for a duck off the last ball of the day.

The hosts trailed by 218 runs with six wickets in hand in reply to England's 537, their third biggest total on Indian soil thanks to centuries from Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Stokes.

After being stuck on 99 for 10 balls, Pujara reached the three-figure mark with a nervous single as his father and wife applauded from the stands.

Vijay raced to his seventh Test century with two boundaries off Stuart Broad, who is playing his 100th Test, and celebrated it by leaping into the air.

Pujara, 28, flourished in the post-lunch session, twice carting leg-spinner Adil Rashid for fours in the same over.

Vijay was lucky to earn a life on 66 when debutant Haseeb Hameed failed to hold onto his catch off Broad (1-54) in the covers.

It was England's turn to huff and puff in temperatures touching 35 degrees Celsius (95 degree Fahrenheit), and on a surface that had little to offer to the bowlers.

Paceman Chris Woakes impressed the most in the testing conditions, giving away just 39 runs off 23 overs.

The morning session saw India lose opener Gautam Gambhir (29) to Broad, who struck off his first ball of the day.

The ball hit his pad in front of the middle and off stump, and the decision was upheld after Gambhir referred it to the third umpire.

Before the start of play, England players and support staff observed a minute's silence as a mark of respect to the war dead on Armistice Day.

The players also wore shirts with a commemorative poppy on the right collar.

Brief Scores:

England 1st innings: 537 (B. Stokes 128, J. Root 124, M. Ali 117; R. Jadeja 3-86)

India 1st innings: 319-4 in 108.3 overs (M. Vijay 126, C. Pujara 124)

Published Date: Nov 11, 2016 | Updated Date: Nov 11, 2016

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4497 105
4 New Zealand 3114 97
5 Australia 3294 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 5266 117
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115