India's Rohit Sharma raises his bat after scoring a century during the fourth day of the first cricket test match against South Africa in Visakhapatnam, India. Image Credit: AP

Visakhapatnam: Rohit Sharma on Saturday struck a second successive hundred in his debut as Test opener to help India set South Africa a daunting 395 to win the opening match of their series.

The hosts declared their second innings on 323 for four in the final session of day four with skipper Virat Kohli on 31 and Ajinkya Rahane on 27.

Sharma, who made 176 in India’s first innings of 502 for seven declared, is the first batsman to hit two tons in his first match as a Test opener.

He also hit 13 sixes, the most in a Test match, breaking Wasim Akram’s record of 12.

Sharma put on 169 with Cheteshwar Pujara, who made 81, to frustrate South Africa after the loss of opener Mayank Agarwal for seven.

Pujara was trapped lbw by Vernon Philander after he completed his 21st Test half-century.

Sharma survived a reprieve on 50 when he was caught at the boundary off Dane Piedt. Replays indicated that fielder Senuran Muthusamy’s foot had touched the rope.

He was finally stumped off Keshav Maharaj as he attempted a big hit.

Ravindra Jadeja hit a 32-ball 40 before being bowled by paceman Kagiso Rabada.

Maharaj struck before lunch, grabbing the key wicket of Agarwal, who hit 215 in the first innings, but the bowlers then struggled.

Earlier, Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin completed a haul of seven wickets as South Africa were bowled out for 431 in the morning session.

Ashwin got overnight batsman Maharaj out for nine and then trapped Rabada, leaving the Proteas 71 runs behind.


India 1st innings: 502 decl

South Africa 1st innings: 431 all out

India 2nd innings

M. Agarwal c Du Plessis b Keshav Maharaj 7

R. Sharma st De Kock b Keshav Maharaj 127

C. Pujara lbw Philander 81

R. Jadeja b Rabada 40

V. Kohli Not Out 31

A. Rahane Not Out 27

Extras: (8b 2lb) 10

Total: (67 overs, decl) 323

Fall of Wickets: 1-21 Agarwal, 2-190 Pujara, 3-239 Sharma, 4-286 Jadeja

Bowling: Philander 12-5-21-1, Maharaj 22-0-129-2, Rabada 13-3-41-1, Piedt 17-3-102-0, Muthusamy 3-0-20-0

South Africa 2nd innings

A. Markram Not Out 3

D. Elgar lbw Ravindra Jadeja 2

T. De Bruyn Not Out 5

Extras (1lb) 1

Total: (9.0 overs, 1 wkt) 11

Fall of Wickets: 1-4 Elgar

Bowling: Ashwin 4-2-7-0, Jadeja 4-2-3-1