Vijay, Pujara tons help India reach 319/4 on Day 3

RAJKOT: Murali Vijay and local boy Cheteshwar Pujara hit centuries and built a partnership of 209 runs for the second wicket to help India reach 319/4 in their first innings against England on the third day of the opening test on Friday, still trailing England by 218 runs.

Pujara struck his ninth test hundred before he was out for 124 while Vijay fell in the penultimate over of the day for 126 after his seventh century. Virat Kohli was unbeaten on 26, while night watchman Amit Mishra fell without scoring in the last-over bowled by left-arm spinner Zafar Ansari.

England bowlers toiled hard to dislodge Vijay and Pujara, went wicketless in the second session but managed to get three wickets in the final session. Wicket was still good for batting though some deliveries turning with uneven bounce.

Earlier, Gambhir was out leg before to paceman Stuart Broad in the opening session. The left-hander missed a straight delivery from Broad, who is playing in his 100th test, and was out for 29. Pujara joined Vijay at the crease and soon found his rhythm with some crisply driven boundaries.

Pujara was given out leg before off Ansari on 86 but overturned the umpire’s verdict through the Decision Review System (DRS) that is making its debut in a bilateral series in India. Reviews showed the ball was going over the stumps. Broad should have had Vijay’s wicket when the batsman was dropped on 66 by 19-year-old debutant Haseeb Hameed as he dived to his left in the covers.

England bowlers didn’t give the batsmen much to work with and maintained consistent line and length with a plan in mind for each batsmen, the batsmen were good enough to recognise spells of play they could exploit.

Brief Scores: India 319 for 4 (Vijay 126, Pujara 124) trail England 537 by 218 runs

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