Keshav Maharaj got the vital breakthrough for the Proteas earlier today. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

First Test, Day 2, Tea

India: 450/5 (Sharma 176, Agarwal 215, Maharaj 2/169, Philander 1/56)

Zaahier Adams

South Africa’s bowlers offered up some resistance in the second session on Day 2 as the visitors looked to stem the avalanche of runs in this first Test here in Visakhapatnam.

The afternoon’s period of play – extended due to the loss of the final session on Wednesday – certainly started on a positive note for the visitors when Vernon Philander clean bowled Cheteshwar Pujara with a beauty that nipped off the seam just enough to uproot the off-stump.

There was further success for the Proteas when debutant Senuran Muthusamy claimed his maiden Test wicket – and it was a big one too with India captain Virat Kohli tamely chipping the ball back to the left-arm spin bowler to be dismissed for 20.

The Proteas, though, did not have things entirely their way with Mayank Agarwal continuing on his merry way. He continued punishing Dane Piedt, in particular, with the opening converting his maiden Test century into a double ton.

It was superb knock for the right-hander perfectly married patience with aggression and certainly delivered a masterclass to the Proteas batsmen on how to score runs on this surface when they do eventually get their turn.

That may just come in this final session after Agarwal was eventually dismissed for a superb 215 (317 balls, 23x4, 6x6) when he held out to the part-time spin of Dean Elgar in the deep. With South Africa fielding three specialist spinners, captain Faf du Plessis was reluctant to turn to his “golden arm” but Elgar required just four balls to end Agarwal’s resistance.

India lost the further wicket of Ajinkya Rahane for 15 with the stylish right-hander uncharacteristically looking to push the game along – only to be caught driving uppishly to Temba Bavuma at short cover.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been promoted up the order to keep the scoreboard moving along as Kohli looks set to declare during this last session. Jadeja (6*) is joined at the crease by Hanuma Vihari (8*). 

@ZaahierAdams


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