Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Narendra Modi congratulates Afghanistan for their cricket team's first Test match

Narendra Modi congratulates Afghanistan for their cricket team's first Test match

"It's a great moment for us as we embark on our Test journey", said Afghan Captain Asghar Stanikzai, the second-most capped player on the Afghan side, in an interview with AFP news agency.

Dhawan was soon caught in the slips off seamer Yamin Ahmadzai, who picked up Afghanistan's first Test wicket.

Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah was welcomed by India's Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, also India's first individual silver medal victor at the Olympics, who, between speeches, couldn't resist having a swing with Shikhar Dhawan's bat.

Cricket - India v Afghanistan - Afghanistan Team's Press Conference - Bengaluru, India - June 13, 2018 - Afghanistan's cricket team captain Asghar Stanikzai (C), Afghanistan cricket team coach Phil Simmons (L) and Afghanistan's National Team Manager Shir Agha Hamkar address a news conference.

India has played a significant role in promoting cricket in Afghanistan since 2001 when the conflict-ridden country joined the ICC (International Cricket Council).

Earlier, opting to bat after winning the toss, India got off to a breezy start with Dhawan smashing a quickfire century to pile up 158/0 at lunch in the lop-sided opening session. Dhawan hit him for eight fours and a six in his 107 and later credited his IPL experience for coming out on top in the battle. Dhawan maybe well placed to take on Rashid who Is his teammate in Sunrisers Hyderabad and must have faced the spinner countless times in nets.

Vijay, whose hundred was his 12th in Tests, was the next man to go, with the score on 280, when he was pinned lbw by Wafadar, before Rahul chopped Ahmadzai onto his stumps two balls later.

KL Rahul was looking good during his 64-ball 54 runs knock.

"They came back very well in the final session and I am sure they are going to learn a lot of things and go a long way ahead".

Rashid, who had an terrible start to Test cricket, picked up skipper Rahane's wicket and troubled the batsmen then on.

Dinesh Karthik came back in India's Test XI after missing 87 matches, which is a record for India.

Whether the Afghan bravado holds up over 20 wickets across five days remains to be seen. India finished the day with 347 for 6 wickets in 78 overs.

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