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Test Cricket: South Africa scores 256/5 at stumps against India in first innings on Day 2

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In Men’s Cricket, South Africa were 256 for 5 at stumps on day 2, in their first innings against India in the first Test of two match series of Freedom Trophy in Centurion.
 
India resumed their first innings at the overnight score of 208 for 8 this afternoon and were all out on 245 runs. K L Rahul scored 101 runs in his inning. Earlier, South Africa won the toss and elected to field first yesterday.

Led by Dean Elgar’s century, South Africa put themselves in a strong position, heading to Tea at 194 for 3 on the second day in Centurion, trailing India by only 51 runs. The southpaw was unbeaten on 115 having stitched an unbeaten 81-run stand with debutant David Bedingham for the fourth wicket.

The hosts, who had made a cautious start to their innings in the morning session, broke free early on after Lunch. With not enough spite from the wicket, the ball was coming easily on to the bat. Even as there was a bit of movement in the air, shot-making had become considerably easier. Elgar broke free from his conventional conservative batting style and hit some flourishing drives and pulls to get the scoreboard moving quickly.

However, seven short of a century stand for the second wicket, Jasprit Bumrah helped India pull back the momentum with a double burst in his return spell. Tony de Zorzi, who was the most watchful of the two batters, got an outside edge to slips while defending a shortish delivery from the pacer. In his next over, Bumrah got Keegan Petersen to chop an incoming delivery on to his stumps and reduced South Africa to 113 for 3.

The hosts slowed down briefly, but with the ball getting older and softer, the threat by the Indian pacers didn’t last too long. The short ball tactic also didn’t prove fruitful, especially with Prasidh Krishna and Shardul Thakur often erring in length. Both Elgar and Bedingham took them on, and the latter even pulled the duo for a six each. Elgar pulled a short delivery outside off for a boundary to bring up his 14th Test century.

Earlier in the day, KL Rahul helped India stretch their innings total to 245 with the help of Mohammed Siraj who gave him company in a 62-ball alliance. Soon after his dismissal, Rahul notched up his century before Nandre Burger cleaned him up to bag his third wicket of the innings.

India made a strong start with the ball, with Bumrah and Siraj operating in tight channels, taking advantage of the helpful conditions on offer. While Aiden Markram departed early, edging the ball to the ‘keeper, Elgar and Zorzi were watchful. In a cautious passage of play, they had helped the hosts to 49 for 1 at Lunch.

Brief scores: South Africa 194/3 (Dean Elgar 115*, David Bedingham 32; Jasprit Bumrah 2-35) trail India 245 (KL Rahul 101, Virat Kohli 38; Kagiso Rabada 5/59, Nandre Burger 3/50) by 51 runs

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