Visakhapatnam: Mayank Agarwal’s scintillating knock of 215 and Rohit Sharma’s score of 176 consolidated India’s position on day two of the first Test match between India and South Africa here at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium.
India declared their innings at 502/7. In response South Africa ended day two at a score of 39/3, still trailing India by 463 runs.
Ravichandran Ashwin provided the first breakthrough to India as he castled the stumps of Aiden Markram (5). The Proteas lost their second wicket with just 31 runs on the board as Ashwin got Theunis de Bruyn (4) stumped at the hands of wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha.
Ravindra Jadeja castled the stumps of Dane Piedt (0), reducing South Africa to 34/3. Proteas did not lose any more wickets and they will resume day three with seven wickets in hand.
Earlier, resuming day two at 202/0, Rohit and Mayank did not let go off the momentum and carried on from where they left off on day one. Both batsmen piled on the misery on South Africa’s bowling lineup and their partnership saw Sharma going past 150-run mark and Agarwal bringing up his maiden century.
Along the way, Sharma and Agarwal broke the record of Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid to script the highest partnership for India in the Test matches against the Proteas.
Proteas finally got the breakthrough in the 82nd over as Keshav Maharaj dismissed Sharma (176). No other wicket fell before the lunch break and India went into the interval at a score of 324/1.
After the lunch break, India got a setback as Cheteshwar Pujara (6) was clean bowled by Vernon Philander reducing India to 324/2.
Skipper Virat Kohli next came out to bat and he put a brief partnership of 53 runs with Agarwal. As soon as India started to change gears, Kohli (20) was sent back to the pavilion by Senuran Muthusamy.
Ajinkya Rahane also failed to leave a mark as he was dismissed after scoring just 15 runs, but Agarwal continued to pile on the misery and he registered his first double don.
Agarwal (215) was finally dismissed by Dean Elgar as the batsman was looking to play some big shots to ensure an early declaration from skipper Kohli. India went into the tea break at a score of 450/5.
After the tea break, both Hanuma Vihari and Ravindra Jadeja looked to play in an aggressive manner, but Vihari (10) departed in the quest for some quick runs, reducing India to 457/6 in the 127th over.
Saha played a quickfire knock of 21 runs off just 15 balls, but he departed with India six runs away from the 500-run mark.
Kohli finally declared the innings with India’s score at 502/7. Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin remained unbeaten on 30 and 1 respectively.