Cricket: Nair hits maiden ton, India set for first-innings lead
01:31 PM, December 19, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:36 PM, December 19, 2016

England tour of India, 5th Test

Cricket: Nair hits maiden ton, India set for first-innings lead

India's Karun Nair struck his maiden Test century to keep the hosts on course for a handy first-innings lead against England on day four of the final Test on Monday.

Nair's unbeaten 122 steered India to 463 for five at lunch in reply to England's 477 in the fifth Test at Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium.

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Ravichandran Ashwin, who has enhanced his reputation with the bat by hitting three half-centuries in the series, was batting on nine at the other end.

Nair's knock was not a flawless one but the 25-year-old hung on to help India, who have already wrapped up the series with a match to spare, reduce the deficit with some stolid batting in the 72-run morning session.

Dropped on 34 by Alastair Cook on Sunday, Nair enjoyed another slice of luck when he hung out his bat trying to leave a short Stuart Broad delivery, the deflection running past slip to the boundary.

He looked more in control when he stepped out to hit debutant Liam Dawson for six and reached triple figures by slicing Ben Stokes for a boundary.

Murali Vijay was lucky not to be given caught behind to Broad, who celebrated the 'dismissal', after UltraEdge technology showed a faint nick, but England had used up their reviews and could not challenge the decision.

Vijay was unable to truly capitalise on the reprieve, however, as he became Lawson's first Test victim.

The regular opener, batting down the order following a shoulder injury, reviewed a leg-before decision but had to depart after making 29.

Stokes bowled with lots of hostility, generating reverse swing from an otherwise flat track, and claimed a chip off Nair's bat with a short delivery and nearly had him caught at mid-off with another.

Nair's patient knock included 11 boundaries besides the six off Dawson.

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