The first day of the second Test between India and South Africa witnessed a good competition between bat and ball at the MCA Stadium in Pune. India ended the day at 273 for three with skipper Virat Kohli batting at 63 after a fine century from Mayank Agarwal.

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India lost Rohit Sharma early after Virat Kohli opted to bat first in the morning. The South African fast bowlers were impressive with the new bowling testing lines to the Indian batsman. Debutant Anrich Nortje was the pick of the bowlers in the morning session.

Kagiso Rabada. Credit: BCCI

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Nortje peppered Mayank Agarwal with short deliveries from around the wicket. He did so with fielders at leg slip, forward short leg and a catching square leg eventually hitting one on his helmet. But Mayank grew in confidence after surviving an initial barrage and began pulling the short balls away which helped him clinch the duel.

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Both batsmen passed 50 and the partnership figures crossed 100. But what seemed like a wicketless session for South Africa was finally resolved by Kagiso Rabada. He got the edge of Cheteshwar Pujara – the visitor’s only talking point from the session.

Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal. Credit: BCCI

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Moments after tea, Mayank Agarwal reached his consecutive hundreds as he struck two sixes of Keshav Maharaj and a four off Vernon Philander to scale the milestone. However, the joy was shortlived as Rabada claimed his third of the day to have India at 198 for three.

But skipper Virat Kohli, who is leading India in 50th Test match, took control of the proceeding before bad light stopped play. Kohli remained unbeaten on 63 runs alongside Ajinkya Rahane who is batting 18 off 70 deliveries. India will be eyeing a big total on day two before bowling out South Africa for a small total to gain a massive first-innings lead and take one step closer to the win.

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Brief scores: India 273/3 (Mayank Agarwal 108, Virat Kohli 63*; Kagiso Rabada 3-48) vs South Africa