CHENNAI, India: Openers Lokesh Rahul and Parthiv Patel both passed fifty Sunday as India mounted a strong reply to England´s 477 on the third day of the fifth Test in Chennai.
The hosts, who resumed the day on 60 without loss, reached 173 for 1 at lunch, still 304 runs behind, with Rahul on 89 and Cheteshwar Pujara on 11.
Overnight batsmen Patel and Rahul made England´s bowlers toil as they put together a 152-run opening stand before Moeen Ali´s off spin prised out the only wicket of the morning session.
It was India´s first century opening partnership in 32 innings despite wicketkeeper Patel filling in for regular opener Murali Vijay who has not yet batted due to a bruised shoulder.
Patel was finally undone when he played against the spin of a flighted and sharply turning delivery from Ali to spooon a simple catch to Jos Buttler at cover for a Test best 71 off 112 balls with seven fours.
Rahul was particularly fluent and was just 11 runs away from his fourth Test century having hit two sixes and eight fours off 157 balls as India added 113 runs in the session for the loss of one wicket.
Boundaries came at regular intervals on the benign MA Chidambaram Stadium pitch as the hosts scored at more than three-and-a-half runs per over.
Saturday´s hero Liam Dawson, who hit an unbeaten 66 on debut, was on the receiving end Sunday as Rahul lofted his slow left-arm deliveries for two sixes early in the day.
India hold an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series.