Raina stakes his claim for first Test with ton

TAUNTON: India’s Suresh Raina staked his claim for the first Test against England with a brilliant counter-attacking century against Somerset on the third day of the tour match here Sunday.

Raina raced to an unbeaten 103 on the third morning to save India from embarrassment. India were reeling at overnight 138/8, chasing Somerset’s first innings score of 425, with Raina (30) and S.Sreesanth (0) at crease.

After Sreesanth’s (1) fall Sunday, Raina added 84 for the final wicket in 12 overs with Munaf Patel who contributed 6, taking India’s score to 224.

Somerset decided to bat again rather than enforce the follow-on.

Raina needed just 37 balls to go from his fifty to hundred. He struck 14 fours and five sixes, hitting the bowlers all over the County Ground. He reached his century off 110 balls.

With this innings, Raina would hope to seal his place in the team as the No.6 batsman, ahead of flamboyant Yuvraj Singh, for the first Test at Lord’s starting Thursday.

Yuvraj, the man-of-the-series in World Cup, was out for a duck on the second morning. He did not play in the series against West Indies due to a lung infection.(IANS)

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