November 2019
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Pune Test: Agarwal, Kohli help India dominate Day 1 at 273/3 against Proteas
Pune: India were at dominating 273 for 3 in their first innings at stumps on the opening day of the second Test against South Africa, here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Thursday. Indian captain Virat Kohli (63 not out) and Ajinkya Rahane (18 not out) were the two unbeaten batsmen at the crease as bad lights forced early stumps at Day 1. Earlier, India won the toss and opted to bat first. The team were off to a bad start as Rohit Sharma, who had scored twin hundreds in his first Test as an opener in Vizag last week, fell to Kagiso Rabada for 14.

After Rohit''s wicket, Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara batted sensibly and stitched a big partnership of 138 runs or the second wicket which frustrated South Africa bowlers. The likes of Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada bowled tight lines and lengths but the Indian duo showed great determination and denied easy wickets to Proteas bowlers. Mayank scored at a good pace from one end while Pujara took his time to take the edge off the South African pace attack before picking up pace to score his second half-century of the series. Minutes before tea, Rabada produced another brilliant delivery to dismiss Pujara who scored 58 off 112.

Virat who joined Mayank after Pujara''s wicket, was watchful to start and extremely cautious after tea but Mayank Agarwal hit Keshav Maharah for two sixes to move from 87 to 99 in quick time. Soon after that, a thick edge off Philander went to the boundary and Mayank Agarwal raised his bat to celebrate his second hundred of the series. However, he couldn''t continued his innings (108 of 195) much further as Rabada struck for the third time in the day to get rid of the opener. At 198 for 3, Kohli with new batsman Ajinkya Rahane reassessed the situation and continued to grind the Proteas.

Towards the end of the day, Kohli opened up and hit some sweetly timed boundaries to bring up his first fifty of the series. Rahane, on the other hand, was happy to play second fiddle. India have dropped Hanuma Vihari to accomodate an extra pacer in Umesh Yadav for this match. Kagiso Rabada was the only successful bowler for the visitors taking all three wickets to have fallen so far. On the second day, Virat Kohli would be looking to get to his 26th Test hundred and help India touch the 450 plus mark to put extra pressure on South Africa batsmen. Brief Scores: India 1st innings: 273 for 3 in 85.1 overs (Mayank Agarwal 108, Virat Kohli 63 not out, Cheteshwar Pujara 58; Kagiso Rabada 3/48).

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