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Afghanistan lose maiden test to India by innings in 2 days

NEWS
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464   //    15 Jun 2018, 19:27 IST
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BANGALORE, India (AP) — Afghanistan succumbed to top-ranked India by an innings and 262 runs inside two days of its maiden cricket test on Friday.

India completed its first innings in the morning on 474 then bowled out the Afghans for 109 and 103 for its biggest win by innings.

It was the fourth instance in test history of a team being bowled out twice in one day.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja took six wickets, including 4-17 in the second innings, and Ravichandran Ashwin claimed five, including 4-27 in the first.

India stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane believed better days were ahead for Afghanistan.

"Afghanistan have some good bowlers and in time they will be able to trouble the opposition more," Rahane said.

"The more matches they play, the more they will learn. This is just the beginning so you cannot really blame them. Test cricket is about attitude and patience. If two or three batsmen can spend some more time in the middle, it will help their batting."

Most sides have struggled in their first test. South Africa made 84 in its very first test innings and, more recently, Ireland 130. But they made their (losing) test debuts at home, and didn't face world No. 1 India, which has lost only one test at home in nearly six years.

"We were swayed a bit by the occasion," Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons said. "I would say 30 percent, especially in the first couple hours of play on day one.

"There is an air of disappointment in the dressing room, but it is not about losing. It is more about the manner of losing. But we have learnt a lot in these two days, and we wouldn't have learnt as much if we played this maiden test against a lower-ranked (eighth or ninth) side."

Test cricket's newest entrant was faced with a mountain to climb after India finishing batting.

The first innings was all over in less than 28 overs. Mohammad Nabi top-scored with 24, the only batsman to cross 20.

The innings total of 109 was the lowest in a test at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, eclipsing the 112 by Australia in 2017.

But forced to follow on, Afghanistan lowered the record again, to 103 in 39 overs.

Umesh Yadav removed the openers and Nabi to reduce Afghanistan to 24-4 within seven overs. Yadav had Mohammad Shahzad (13) caught behind, and removed Javed Ahmadi (3) and Mohammad Nabi (0) in the space of five balls in the sixth over.

Unlike in the first innings, there was some semblance of resistance from the middle order. Hashmatullah Shahidi (36 not out) and captain Asghar Stanikzai (25) put on 37 runs for the fifth wicket.

More importantly, they sucked up 103 deliveries and underlined their approach to play out time.

Shahidi was unbeaten at the end after facing 88 balls, including six boundaries.

But India's bowling was tough to contend with. Jadeja ran through the lower order, and Ashwin finished off proceedings by bowling Wafadar for a seven-ball duck about 10 minutes before the scheduled close of play.

That was Ashwin's 316th test wicket, good for third on the all-time list of India bowlers, above Zaheer Khan with 311.

In the first innings, Yadav became the 22nd India bowler to take 100 test wickets.

"Before, we had not played a test match, and now (we know) ... what we need to do," Stanikzai said. "We were surprised with the match ending in two days because our team is good. Disappointed with the batting, but it is good for the future."

Earlier, India completed its first innings from 347-6 overnight.

Ashwin (18) and Hardik Pandya (71) took their seventh-wicket partnership to 35 runs before Ashwin became pacer Yamin Ahmadzai's third dismissal.

Pandya scored his third test half-century off 83 balls. Overall, he faced 94 balls and hit 10 fours.

Ahmadzai took 3-51, and Wafadar and legspinner Rashid Khan took two wickets each.

India begins a tour of Ireland and England at the end of the month.

NEWS
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