SA batsmen put Indian bowlers to the sword

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The 23-year-old now has two centuries and two half-centuries in seven test innings, having been handed a debut against Bangladesh in September, and was imperious at times as he scored runs all around the wicket, crashing nine fours.

Sehwag was unhappy with Kohli's selection decisions for the Centurion Test, in which he excluded wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha and pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar to make way for Parthiv Patel and Ishant Sharma. respectively. But his run-out proved to the turning point of the day, as three wickets fell in 14 balls.

South Africa won the toss and chose to bat first. I have seen a lot of cricket matches where people who haven't been in contention to play the match, come in and get those wickets. His drives through mid-on and mid-off regions against the fuller deliveries were a joy to watch while he was equally punishing against the shorter-deliveries.

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India's reply to that mediocre South African score on a good batting pitch at Centurion stuttered early when KL Rahul was out caught and bowled by Morne Morkel for 10, and Cheteshwar Pujara run out first ball he faced by a direct hit at the non-striker's end from debutant Lungi Ngidi. Even if it is a flattish deck, one has to apply himself and Markram looked at home from the word go.

Markram went to the break unbeaten on 51 and with senior partner Dean Elgar on 26 with much work to be done in the second session.

Ashwin found some joy instantly on the Centurion track and put Elgar through some uncomfortable moments before lunch. He immediately troubled Elgar and continued to do so throughout his first spell. De Kock was undone by Ashwin, poking at one away from his body, and then came Philander's foolhardy charge down the wicket that saw him end up at the same end as a furious du Plessis. Sharma bagged three wickets in the first innings, while Ashwin was the lead wicket taker of the match and clinched 4 wickets.

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Hashim Amla had been out of knick recently with single digit scores in his last three Test innings. The step across brought him closer to the line of short balls outside off, and he picked up a square-cut boundary off Vernon Philander in this manner, and the shuffle also prompted South Africa to aim for his pads, which allowed him to pick up runs on the leg side every now and then. He struck the ball with authority, particularly off the back foot, before he tried to guide a ball from Ashwin towards third man and was caught behind by Parthiv Patel.

"Those wickets in the last session are valid incentive for us going into the Day 2".

Only one over of India's first innings was possible before the umpires called for the end of the first session.

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