England made India work overtime with the unlikely duo of Adil Rashid and debutant Liam Dawson leading a lower-order resistance to power the visitors to 452 for eight in the fifth and final cricket Test here today.
Adil Rashid departs during day two of the final test match against India
At tea on the second day of the game, Dawson and Stuart Broad were batting on 55 and 17 respectively, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Starting the day on a shaky note that saw them lose three wickets, including that of centurion Moeen Ali (146), England regrouped in the second session and scored exactly 100 runs, with their tail wagging after two crucial half centuries down the order.
Rashid (60) and Dawson (55) shared 108 runs for the eighth wicket, falling short of the eighth-wicket record on this ground by just four runs.
While Rashid was the senior partner and played a pivotal role in the partnership by sticking around, Dawson, on debut, showed some excellent batting skills and temperament considering that England were 0-3 down in the five-match series.
Rashid got to his fifty with a superb cover drive off Ravindra Jadeja and brought up the 100-run partnership with another boundary, behind point, in the same over.
Having overcome the initial jitters after pacer Ishant Sharma tested him with a flurry of short-pitched deliveries, Dawson got into the groove by playing some delectable shots en-route to reaching his maiden half century with a single to long-on.
However, before Dawson's moment of joy arrived, Umesh Yadav cut short the association when he had Rashid, attempting to cut a shortish ball through point, edged one to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.
The pitch is slow and though it has turn, it gives the batsmen enough time to adjust and play their shots accordingly. The turn will be there, but it is likely to get slower over the next three days.
The pacers also did not try the yorkers enough, perhaps, owing to lack of movement in the air.