INDIA TOUR OF WEST INDIES, 2019
Vihari took his time in the 80s and the 90s, but soon made his way to a maiden Test century in the post-Lunch session © Getty
Hanuma Vihari frustrated West Indies with his maiden Test century, along with Ishant Sharma who got to his maiden Test fifty, as India piled on the runs in the second session before they were bowled out for 416 right before Tea on Day 2 at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
Vihari was unbeaten on 84 when Lunch was taken and went through a session of lull soon after play resumed, and despite that India got off to a brisk start. Vihari rushed through in the first Test when he was closing in on his ton, only to fall short.
In contrast, on Saturday (August 31), he patiently saw through that brief spell with Ishant keeping him able company as West Indies were out of ideas. The pair added 112 for the eighth wicket. Ishant’s enterprising knock of 57, off just 80 balls, comprised of seven boundaries. It wasn’t an easy pitch to bat on, but Ishant was resilient in his approach and played a vital role in Vihari maintaining his composure to get to his landmark.
Ishant, though, was lucky to escape two run-out chances early on in his innings that West Indies failed to take and made them pay in the end, keeping the scoreboard ticking after Lunch when Vihari was struggled for a bit. Vihari eventually got to the landmark with a boundary, and Ishant paid the price for being a tad bit ambitious after his fifty. Rahkeem Cornwell got Mohammed Shami soon after and Vihari was the last man to hole out for 111 as India were bowled out, giving skipper Jason Holder his third successive five-wicket haul in Jamaica.
Holder continued from where he left off on Day 1, bowling a beautiful incoming delivery that straightened just enough out to rattle the stumps on the opening delivery of the day. Rishabh Pant pushed at the delivery but the ball snuck through the massive gap between bat and pad to send him back for 27. Vihari, however, remained as composed as ever. He was patient, showed great judgment letting deliveries go through, had no qualms in doing so, and hung in there to frustrate the hosts.
Holder, on the other hand, bowled excellent lengths, but wasn’t shy to try new things. He changed his lines regularly, rotated his bowlers and was experimental with his field placings. Kemar Roach was once again posing questions, but yet, Vihari and Jadeja kept him at bay. The pair added 38 runs for the seventh wicket before Rahkeem Cornwall was rewarded for his patience. Off a ball that got some extra bounce, Jadeja’s slog-sweep attempt went wrong as he top-edged to Darren Bravo at mid-on for an easy catch.
Vihari then struck three boundaries off Cornwall’s next over, after a really tough chance at slip was put down, to get a move on. Holder was denied Vihari’s wicket because of the smart use of DRS after having trapped him leg-before that was adjudged out by the on-field umpire. Opting for a review, replays found the ball to be going just over the stumps as Vihari survived.
Brief scores: India (Mayank Agarwal 55, Virat Kohli 76, Hanuma Vihari 111, Ishant Sharma 57; Jason Holder 5-77 vs West Indies