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1st Test: Rahul, Jadeja power India into taking the first-innings lead over England

KL Rahul fell 14 runs short of his century while Ravindra Jadeja was rock-solid in his unbeaten 45 as the duo powered India into taking a first-innings lead of 63 runs in the first Test against England at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Friday.

At tea on day two, India have reached 309/5 in 76 overs, with the second session bringing them 87 runs in 26 overs, despite losing Rahul and Shreyas Iyer. Giving Jadeja company is wicketkeeper KS Bharat, who’s unbeaten on nine as India still have the advantage with five wickets in hand.

Just like the morning session, England began the afternoon session with a wicket. Leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed had Iyer slog-sweeping a googly straight to deep mid-wicket. But Rahul continued to build on his good work in the morning, cutting and sweeping the leg-spinner for fours.

It didn’t stop here as Rahul picked Rehan’s lengths well – dancing down the pitch to hit a six over long-on and going on the backfoot to pull over mid-wicket for another maximum – which put India into the lead.

From the other end, Jadeja capitalised on England spinners being all over the pitch and taking boundaries for fun. He even got a caught at forward short leg decision to change and continued to take runs against England’s inconsistent bowling.

The 65-run stand between Rahul and Jadeja ended when the former rocked back to pull a short ball from Ahmed and holed out to deep mid-wicket. Rahul’s dismissal ending his high-class knock at 86 off 123 balls was the fifth time an Indian batter perished while trying to play an attacking shot.

Post that, England finally managed to exert some control by drying up runs in the last 30 minutes. The Jadeja-Bharat partnership for the sixth wicket added just 21 runs in 11.1 overs till tea arrived. With Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel still to come, India have the batting muscle to take the lead into three-figures.

Brief Scores: England 246 in 64.3 overs trail India 309/5 in 76 overs (KL Rahul 86, Yashasvi Jaiswal 80; Tom Hartley 2-113, Joe Root 1-37) by 63 runs.

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