Hyderabad: KL Rahul scored an unbeaten half-century (55 batting) and added an unbroken 63 runs for the fourth wicket with Shreyas Iyer (34 batting) to lead India closer to England’s first as hosts were comfortably placed at 222/3 at lunch on the second day of the first Test, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, on Friday.

Though India lost overnight batters – Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill – in the session, they scored 103 runs in 27 overs.

Jaiswal, resuming at his overnight score 76, hit Joe Root for a boundary on the second ball of the day but the England bowler had the upper hand dismissing the youngster two deliveries later. Jaiswal tried to continue in his aggressive fashion as he tried to dance down the track to loft the bowler straight down the ground but ended

up giving a return catch to Root to be dismissed for 80 runs. He added 43 runs for the second wicket with Gill.

Rahul, with Shubman Gill, steadied the innings scoring occasional boundaries. He hit debutant Hartley for consecutive boundaries and looked in good rhythm. However, Gill threw his wicket away in search of quick runs. He whipped debutant Hartley to Ben Duckett who was placed at the mid-wicket just before that delivery.

But at the other end, Rahul looked determined to take on the bowlers. He hit Mark Wood for three boundaries in the 36th over – one of them coming off an inside edge. New batter Shreyas Iyer pulled a six over mid-wicket for his first boundary. Rahul then reached his half-century with a single off Root just before lunch.

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