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4TH TEST, DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS: PANT AND SUNDAR REVIVE INDIA, STRETCH LEAD TO 89 RUNS

Rishabh Pant finally went beyond 90s to score his first international Test hundred (101) at home, his third overall, as India took an 89-run lead on Day 2 of the 4th Test match against England at Motera on Friday.

In response to England’s first innings total of 205, India were 294-7 at Stumps with Washington Sundar remaining unbeaten on a well-crafted 60 alongside Axar Patel (11*).

Batting woes came to plague India once again and at one point it seemed the hosts might not even be able to cross the 200-run mark. At Tea, India were 153-6 with Pant (36*) and Sundar (1*) just starting off with their camaraderie.

What followed for the next two and half hours reminded us of the duo’s remarkable 53-run stand at Brisbane, which eventually won India the last Test and the series against Australia earlier this year. This time the partnership was longer – to be precise 113 runs off 158 balls.

Starting on an overnight score of 24-1, India lost Cheteshwar Pujara (17) and Virat Kohli (0) pretty early. Even though Ajinkya Rahane (27) showed some resistance, it didn’t look enough to revive India’s chances of going past England’s score. The in-form Rohit Sharma struggled too to fetch his 49 runs – taking 144 balls – and was trapped leg before by Ben Stokes.

On a day when every other prominent batsman struggled, Pant and Sundar made everything look easy with their effortless batting. James Anderson (3-40) and Stokes (2-73) tormented the Indian batters until Pant unleashed his beast mode.

The talented left-hand batsman barely showed nerves even in his 90s as he ‘dared’ to go on the assault when he was on 94* and completed his 100 with a maximum – much to the crowd’s delight!

“The team plan was to get to 206 and then get as much of a lead as we can as a batting unit. Everything went to the team plan. Most of the time I get the licence to go for my shots, after I've assessed the game. And if the crowd are entertained by that, I'm happy,” said Pant after the day's play.