Visakhapatnam,India: A stray dog spared England some punishment when it halted play shortly before tea as India piled on the runs to reach 210 for two on day one of the second Test on Thursday.
The brown dog forced the umpires to call tea four balls early when it appeared from behind the sightscreen and evaded attempts to chase it from the field.
Laughter and applause broke out as two groundsmen gave pursuit only to meet dogged resistance from the pitch-invader.
Cheteshwar Pujara was three runs from his century and facing Stuart Broad when the early tea was taken, with Virat Kohli on 91 at the other end.
The two had put on 188 runs for the third wicket to thwart the England bowling attack after their seamers struck early.
Kohli recorded his 13th Test half-century with a single off Ben Stokes in the 37th over of the innings.
But the star batsman was lucky to earn a life on 56 when a diving Adil Rashid failed to hold onto his catch off Ben Stokes at long leg.
Pujara also registered his fifty at India’s newest Test venue as he hit 11 fours and a six during his 177-ball stay so far.
England managed to do some damage in the morning session, sending the Indian openers swiftly back to the pavilion.
Fast bowler Broad got Lokesh Rahul for nought in the second over, while fit-again paceman James Anderson accounted for Murali Vijay (20).
But the visitors, who had given India a run for their money in the drawn Test in Rajkot, went wicketless in the afternoon session.
There are thousands of stray dogs on India’s streets, and this was not the first time one has interrupted a sporting event.
In 2011, India was forced to halt its first ever Formula One practice session when a stray dog ran onto the Buddh International Circuit.—AFP