The hosts India managed to achieve another strong day against the visitors South Africa on day four of the first Test of the three-match Test series at Visakhapatnam. As an opening batsman, Rohit Sharma once again achieved a massive hit.
While India scored 502/7 decl. in the first innings of this match, the visitors replied with 431 runs in their first innings. Leading by 71 runs, India managed to score 323/4 before declaring their second innings. Chasing down the target of 395 runs, South Africa were battling on 11/1 at the stumps of the day. To win this match, the visitors need to score 384 runs on the final day while India are nine wickets away.
Starting the day on their overnight score of 385/8, South African tailenders added 46 more runs before getting all out. Debutant Senuran Muthusamy remained not out on 33 runs while the last batsman Kagiso Rabada scored 15 runs. For the last wicket, Muthusamy and Rabada added 35 runs.
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin bagged both the wickets of the morning session. Playing his first international match in 2019, Ashwin finished that first innings with the bowling figures of 46.2-11-145-7.
At lunch, India were batting on 35/1, while the opener Mayank Agarwal lost his wicket in just seven runs.
Rohit Sharma scored 127 runs
Another opener Rohit Sharma built up a strong partnership with the no.3 batsman Cheteshwar Pujara for the second wicket. Rohit batted in his normal familiar attitude that helped the scoreboard to keep moving quickly. Meanwhile, Pujara started his innings slowly but patiently, and later added runs quickly after getting settled down. Both completed their half-centuries in the second session as they provided a solid century partnership. At tea, India were batting on 175/1.
In the early third session, Pujara lost his wicket on 81 runs 148 balls (13 fours and 2 sixes). Before that wicket, Rohit-Pujara put a big partnership of 169 runs for the second wicket.
Soon after that wicket, opener Rohit hit his second century in this game. The right-handed batsman completed this century in 133 balls. While Ravindra Jadeja promoted to the no.4 batting position, Rohit-Jadeja had a 49-run partnership (35 balls) for the third wicket. Like the first innings, Rohit was once again stumped and this time he scored 127 runs off 149 balls. He smashed 10 fours and seven sixes in that glorious innings.
Jadeja put the 47 runs partnership with the captain Virat Kohli for the fourth wicket. After scoring 40 runs off 32 balls (3 sixes), Jadeja lost his wicket.
Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane put the 37 runs partnership for the unbroken fifth wicket. After managing 323/4, Indian captain decided to declare their second innings. Kohli and Rahane were not out on 31 and 27 runs respectively. India settled the fourth innings target on 395 runs for the visitors South Africa.
South Africa lost Dean Elgar in the early fourth innings
South Africa batted nine overs at the evening session before the day four ended. The visitors lost the wicket of their first innings centurion opener Dean Elgar (2). Indian left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja picked up that wicket. Another opener Aiden Markram (3*) and Theunis de Bruyn (5*) were batting at the stumps of the day.