The lower middle order saved India’s blushes as Hanuma Vihari scored a half-century on his Test debut.
Staring down the barrel at 174-6, Vihari and Ravindra Jadeja batted stoically through the morning session to whittle away at the large deficit they faced after India’s top-order batsmen failed to raise a half-century between them.
Vihari had started slowly last night before unleashing a few boundaries, but this morning he and Jadeja batted with a level of discipline and resolve seldom seen during this series.
In the 24-year-old’s previous competitive match, he top-scored with 148 for India A against South Africa A a month ago, during the drawn second unofficial Test at Alur. Brought into the side with the series already in the hands of India, Vihari grabbed the opportunity, moving to his 50 off 104 balls, with six fours and one six.
He had added 77 for the seventh wicket before Moeen Ali had him caught behind by Jonny Bairstow for 56 off 124 balls. Vihari reviewed it but, despite some uncertainty, the third umpire found no reason to overturn the decision.
India went into lunch at 240-7 after 79 overs, with Jadeja undefeated on 41.
He's batted with absolute grit and gumption and brings up his FIRST Test half century @Hanumavihari.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 9, 2018
Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images