Rahul's ton puts India in control in first test

Rahul's ton puts India in control in first test against South Africa

At stumps, India were 272/3 in 90 overs, with Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane at the crease

KL Rahul celebrates on completing his century. Credit: AP/PTI Photo

A sublime century from KL Rahul helped India dominate Day One of the Boxing Day test at the SuperSport Park on Sunday. At stumps, India were 272/3 in 90 overs with Rahul (not out 122) and Ajinkya Rahane (not out 40) at the crease on a day that totally belonged to the visitors.

Captain Virat Kohli began the final session with a flick through square leg off Keshav Maharaj. Kagiso Rabada troubled a bit but Kohli came forward and unfurled his cover drive. Rahul too was troubled by Rabada but managed to caress a drive through extra cover. Rahul then went on to smack Maharaj for a pulled four through mid-wicket, followed by dancing down the pitch to hit a six over long-on and enter the 90s.

Lungi Ngidi bowled seven consecutive dot balls to Kohli and on the eighth ball, Kohli, in a bid to break free, chased a delivery wide outside the off-stump and gave an easy catch to Wiaan Mulder at first slip.

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Rahane was off the mark on his second ball, creaming a Ngidi half-volley through covers. Rahane began to deal in boundaries, slicing Ngidi through off-side, flicking Marco Jansen through mid-wicket, cutting off backfoot through backward point off Maharaj, and punching off backfoot through over off Mulder.

Rahul brought up his seventh Test century by steering Maharaj through backward point despite a desperate dive by Keegan Petersen. He also became the second Indian opener to score a Test century in South Africa after Wasim Jaffer's 116 at Cape Town in 2007.

After reaching his hundred, Rahul upper-cut Jansen over the slip cordon. Rahane, on the other hand, leaned into a square drive off Jansen and nailed one along the ground pull on a bouncer from Rabada through backward square leg.

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