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Cricket: India at 208/8 on Day One against South Africa in Freedom Trophy Test Match

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And in Cricket, India were 208 runs for the loss of 8 wickets at the stumps in their first innings against South Africa, on the first day of the Freedom Trophy 2023-24 test match at Super Sport Park in Centurion, South Africa. Play was called off for today after 59 overs because of rains. Earlier, South Africa won the toss and elected to field.

Kagiso Rabada and KL Rahul starred on a rain-hit opening day in Centurion as India dragged themselves to 208/8 by stumps. Rabada put South Africa completely on top with a five-fer but Rahul’s crucial fifty while rallying with the lower order ensured India went past 200 before rain arrived, bringing an early end to the day’s play.

Even though Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma got off to a positive start by fetching three boundaries inside the first four overs, South Africa didn’t take long to strike in the morning session. Rabada opened his account by removing Rohit with a short ball before debutant Nandre Burger put India under the pump with the wickets of Jaiswal and Shubman Gill. Losing their top order inside 12 overs, India needed a stable partnership to bail them out.

Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer then managed to ride their luck as they both survived dropped chances to hit some vital boundaries either side. They added 67 for the third wicket to guide India to safety by lunch but South Africa didn’t allow the momentum to shift. Post lunch, Rabada struck in the very first over once play resumed by breaching Iyer’s defence. While that was a massive wicket. Rabada put India in further trouble by getting rid of the big fish.

Kohli, who was looking in very good touch batting on 38, edged one behind as Rabada bowled a peach. With half the side back in the pavilion inside 31 overs, India’s hopes rested on Rahul, donning a new role in the format batting in the middle order, and on R Ashwin who had been picked in place of the injured Ravindra Jadeja. Rabada continued to make inroads though as he first dismissed Ashwin before completing his five-fer by getting rid of Shardul Thakur, who showed plenty of promise while he was batting out in the middle.

With no other option left, Rahul opened up as he first hit Burger for a four and a six off successive deliveries to get to his fifty. Marco Jansen at the other end opened his account by castling Jasprit Bumrah but Rahul continued to fetch crucial boundaries and looked in ominous touch at one stage. But before he could cause more damage, rain arrived.

Brief scores: India 208/8 (KL Rahul 70*, Virat Kohli 38; Kagiso Rabada 5/44) vs South Africa

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