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SA v IND, 1st Test: Early lunch taken after persistent rain delays start of day two

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Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Centurion, Dec 27 (IANS) Early lunch was taken on day two of first Test between South Africa and India at SuperSport Park after persistent rain delayed the start of play, eventually causing no cricketing action in the first session. Umpires called in for lunch from 3pm IST to 3:40pm IST so that the second session could have an early start.

"Just when it was getting brighter here in Centurion, it has started to rain once again Sun behind cloud with rain. The covers are back on the field. Early Lunch has been taken. Lunch timing: 11:30 AM SAST to 12:10PM SAST," wrote the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on its Twitter handle.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) too confirmed the same on Twitter. "The umpires will inspect the grounds at 11:30 and lunch break will also be moved forward to 11:30 to account for the delayed start of play."

While thunderstorms predicted for day one didn't interfere with cricketing action, the weather forecast for day two has predicted rain and thunderstorms for the whole day. The rain played a game of stop and start with super-soppers seen in action, trying to dry the pitch and the areas around it.

But when rain came again, they had to put the covers back on the pitch and the square area.

Coming to what happened on day one of Boxing Day Test, a sublime hundred by KL Rahul, his fifth Test century outside Asia, along with a half-century from Mayank Agarwal helped India dominate day one's play on Sunday. At stumps, India were 272/3 in 90 overs with Rahul (batting 122) and Ajinkya Rahane (batting 40) at the crease on a day which totally belonged to the tourists' batters.

For the hosts, Lungi Ngidi was the only wicket-taker with 3/45 in 17 overs.

Electing to bat first on a semi-lively pitch, India made the most of a South Africa attack which was lacklustre in the start but got into the groove as the day progressed. The day, though, belonged to Rahul, who was assertive in doing what was needed of him as an opener -- leaving balls outside the off-stump, not being rattled by short-ball examination, creaming the drives and showing patience on an excellent day for his side.

Rahul, the Test vice-captain, stitched partnerships on a consistent basis while carrying his bat through the day -- 117 with Agarwal, who made 60, for India's first century opening stand since 2010 before putting 82 and 73 runs with Virat Kohli (35) and Rahane respectively.

Brief Scores: India 272/3 in 90 overs (KL Rahul 122 not out, Mayank Agarwal 60; Lungi Ngidi 3/45) against South Africa

--IANS

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