Virender Sehwag scores a Test century after two years

Ahmedabad:  Indian opener Virender Sehwag ended his three-figure drought that last for two years with a brilliant hundred on Day 1 of the first Test against England at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad.

He played 90 deliveries and hit 15 fours and a six to bring up his hundred. He was finally dismissed for 117 off 117 by England spinner Graeme Swann.

His last hundred came against New Zealand on November 4, 2010 at the same venue, where he scored 173 runs. Since then he has scored nine half-centuries as he failed to convert either of them into a three figure score.

Earlier, Sehwag put his 11th 100-plus stand with Gautam Gambhir and surpassed Gavaskar-Chauhan’s previous record of 10. The Delhi duo, who had failed to fire in unison for some time, stitched their 11th century stand for the opening wicket and their first in nearly two years. The last century stand between them was the 137 at Centurion Park in second innings of the opening Test against South Africa in December, 2010.

The duo’s aggressive batting helped India race to 50 in the 12th over and at the end of the first hour, the hosts were 61 without loss, prompting England to summon off-spinner Graeme Swann in place of Broad immediately after the first drinks break. Broad gave away 23 runs in his six-over spell.

Sehwag hit the accurate Tim Bresnan for a couple of boundaries in the off side when the bowler erred in line. The Najafgarh marauder pushed Swann for a single to the off to complete his 50 in 45 balls and 81 minutes.

It was the batsman’s 33rd half ton in his 99th Test and the second after his second innings 62 against Australia in the fourth and final Test at Adelaide in January.

Growing in confidence, Sehwag blasted Bresnan for two four and a six over long on in successive balls to further stamp his authority on the proceedings.

Fifteen runs came off the 19th over of the innings as the home team’s as well as the partnership’s hundred came in the first ball of the next over in 89 minutes. It was the duo’s first three-figure stand after 26 innings.

Bresnan, after his expensive sixth over, was replaced by Broad at the far end of the ground to bowl the 21st over. The pace bowler operated without a slip fielder against Sehwag just before lunch.

Just before the break, the visitors brought on left-arm spinner Samit Patel in place of Broad after the latter’s 2-over second spell for seven runs and the bowler’s first ball, a full toss, was hit for a boundary by Sehwag.

Soon after the lunch, Swann dismissed Gambhir for 45 runs and ended their 134-run stand. But Sehwag continued the proceedings with new man Cheteshwar Pujara.

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