India Afghanistan rain Bengaluru
Rain forced early tea in the Bengaluru Test between India and Afghanistan © IANS

India lost Shikhar Dhawan shortly after lunch for a 96-ball 107, but Murali Vijay opened up as the match progressed in the Bengaluru Test against Afghanistan. Vijay was on 94 (in 128 balls) when rain prompted the umpires to take tea early. India were 248 for 1 from 45.1 overs at that stage, with KL Rahul (33 in 48 balls) was the other batsman at the crease. The Afghan spinners — Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi — were generally ineffective in their nation’s first Test. Between them they have figures of 29-0-180-0.

Vijay had taken his time to settle down, his first fifty coming off 80 balls. However, he picked up the tempo after Dhawan departed, reading Rashid’s googly with ease and smashing him for three fours in the same over. Rahul went after his Kings XI Punjab teammate Mujeeb, playing a couple of delightful drives. Neither Rashid nor Mujeeb had impact of any sort as India piled agony on Afghanistan for the second consecutive session.

Earlier, Dhawan had become the first Indian and sixth batsman overall to score a hundred in the first session of a Test. He looked in excellent flow, especially against the spinners, and reached his ton in 87 balls. He top-edged Yamin Ahmadzai, and Mohammad Nabi took a fairly simple catch at second slip to give Afghanistan their first Test wicket.