Published:  01:14 AM, 11 October 2019

Mayank's reign continues

Mayank's reign continues India's Mayank Agarwal extended his form with another century against touring South Africa during the first day of the second test at Pune on Thursday. -AFP

India's Mayank Agarwal notched up his second hundred in as many tests and combined with Cheteshwar Pujara to set up a platform for the hosts to post a big first-innings total against South Africa in the second test at Pune on Thursday.

India lost Rohit Sharma cheaply during a difficult opening spell from South Africa's fast bowlers but Agarwal and Pujara weathered the storm through a second-wicket stand of 138 to help the hosts reach 273 for three wickets at close on the first day. Opener Agarwal's stroke-filled knock came to an end on 108 while Pujara fell for 58.

India captain Virat Kohli then got together with his deputy Ajinkya Rahane to add 75 for the unbroken fourth wicket to continue the good work for the hosts, who lead the three-test series 1-0. Kohli, in his 50th test as captain, was unbeaten on 63 with Rahane 18 not out when bad light forced early stumps.

Both teams added an extra fast bowler to their sides from the opening test at Visakhapatnam, which India won by 203 runs, with the Pune surface looking harder and sporting a tinge of grass cover. The visiting pacemen posed a lot of problems for India's batsmen during an inspired opening spell after Kohli won the toss and chose to bat. Rohit, after enjoying the highs of twin hundreds in his maiden test as an opener at Visakhapatnam.

---Reuters, Mumbai

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