Young gun’s debut century puts India on top in WI test

India’s second-youngest century maker after Sachin Tendulkar

RAJKOT: India’s Prithvi Shaw celebrates after scoring a century (100 runs) during the first of the first Test cricket match between India and West Indies at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium. – AFP

RAJKOT: Teenager Prithvi Shaw became the youngest Indian to score a century on Test debut as the hosts took opening day honors in the first match against the West Indies yesterday. Shaw, 18, also became India’s second-youngest century maker after Sachin Tendulkar as he blasted his way to a century in 99 deliveries in Rajkot.

India were 364 for four at stumps after electing to bat first in Rajkot. Skipper Virat Kohli, on 72, and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, on 17, were batting at close of play. But the day belonged to Shaw, a diminutive right-handed opener and Indian Premier League star for the Delhi Daredevils, as he and Cheteshwar Pujara put on a 206-run second wicket partnership. He led India’s fightback after they lost opener Lokesh Rahul for nought in the very first over off Shannon Gabriel.

Shaw was finally caught and bowled by leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo for 134 in the last over before tea. His knock came in 154 balls with 19 boundaries. The now-retired Tendulkar, India’s most successful batsman, was aged 17 when he scored 119 not out against England in 1990, but that was in his ninth Test match.

Shaw reached the landmark with two runs off paceman Keemo Paul, punching his fist in the air as the home crowd gave him a standing ovation. Shaw is the seventh-youngest international batsman to score his first Test century. He is also the third batsman after Shikhar Dhawan (85 balls) and Dwayne Smith (93) to hit his debut ton in under 100 balls.

Pujara also played an uncharacteristically quick knock as he brought up fifty off 67 deliveries, but missed out on his hundred after being caught behind off debutant paceman Sherman Lewis. Kraigg Brathwaite, standing in as captain after Jason Holder suffered a last-minute ankle injury, juggled his bowlers but the absence of the experienced Kemar Roach and Holder was painfully evident. Roach is back in Barbados to attend the funeral of his grandmother.

Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, who made 41, took over from Shaw with a patient 105-run partnership despite West Indies bowlers keeping a tidy line and length to check the flow of runs in the final session of play. India, who had raced to 232-3 at tea, managed another 132 runs in 38 overs of the evening session with Kohli and Rahane batting cautiously. Kohli, who is the world’s number one Test batsman, got to his half-century against Bishoo and was getting dangerous with each passing ball. Indian vice-captain Rahane though lost his cool against off-spinner Roston Chase to get caught behind in the final few overs of the day. – AFP

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