3rd Test, Day 1: India reach 75/2 at lunch against South Africa

Cape Town, Jan 11  India were 75/2 at lunch against South Africa on Day 1 of the third and final Test of the three-match series, here on Tuesday.

Cheteshwar Pujara (26) and Virat Kohli (15 not out) were at the crease when lunch was taken on the opening day in Newlands.

After winning the toss and opting to bat first, openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal gave India a solid start. South Africa bowled with tight lines and lengths but Rahul and Agarwal did well to negotiate it and hit occasional boundaries to keep the scoreboard ticking.

During the process, the duo also got close reprieves. Keegan Peterson almost caught the ball at slip diving full length but couldn’t grasp it and Rabada almost snared KL Rahul at the other end when a ball reared up to take the edge, only to evade the slip cordon.

The Proteas pacers Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier then bowled three maiden overs in a row and tested the patience of the Indian openers. The disciplined bowling and consistent pressure resulted in Rahul’s (12) downfall, who played a tentative shot on a ball that was just outside off. He was in two minds whether to leave it or play it and eventually ended up nicking it behind to the keeper off Olivier.

In the very next over, Mayank Agarwal (15) also got out and India were in trouble. Rabada pitched the ball a tad fuller just outside off and it took Agarwal’s outside edge.

With two quick wickets, it seemed like India had wasted a watchful start as captain Virat Kohli joined Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle. Thereafter Both Kohli and Pujara looked solid in their approach, leaving well and hitting regular boundaries as well.

Pujara showed great intent and made full use of the scoring opportunities on offer whereas Kohli looked determined at the crease and played a couple of lovely drives. They stitched an unbeaten partnership of 42 runs and denied South Africa any more wickets till lunch.

Brief scores:

India 75-2 in 28 Overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 26 not out, Virat Kohli 15 not out; Duanne Olivier 1-14) vs South Africa

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