Rahane helps India take 192 run lead at tea

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Johannesburg, Jan 26 (IANS) Batsman Ajinkya Rahane took charge of the second innings after India lost two wickets in the second session to reach 199/6 at tea against South Africa in the third and final Test at the New Wanderers Stadium here on Friday.

Rahane (46 batting) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (23 batting) who notched up a 51-run unbeaten seventh wicket stand were at the crease, helping India take a 192 run advantage when the umpires called an end to the second session.

For South Africa, pacer Kagiso Rabada (3/59) scalped two wickets in the session — Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya.

Resuming the session on 100/4, skipper Kohli (41) who looked to take charge of the Indian innings was the first wicket to go when Rabada produced a back of length delivery which ended up hitting the off stump.

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The Delhi batsman hit six boundaries in his 79-ball innings.

On the other end, Rahane — who was dropped in the initial two Tests raising questions on the Indian team selection — continued to pave the way comfortably and showed his class with the six boundaries he struck in his 57-ball unbeaten knock.

Incoming batsman Hardik Pandya (4) had himself to blame for a poor shot selection off a length delivery which ended back into the safe arms of Rabada.

Following the dismissal, Bhuvneshwar who contributed important runs down the order in his first essay, started his second innings patiently, playing a perfect second fiddle to Rahane.

Rahane, also got a lucky escape in the 60th over when a catch was put down by Andile Phehlukwayo off a Rabada delivery — who could have easily picked up his third wicket of the session.

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Meanwhile, South Africa pacer Morne Morkel was seen standing in the pitch after his follow through which avoided easy running between the wickets for Rahane — who were then seen to exchange a few words amongst themselves.

Brief scores: India: 187 in first innings and 199/6 in the second innings (Ajinkya Rahane 46, Virat Kohli 41; Kagiso Rabada 3/59) vs South Africa: 194 in the first innings.

–IANS

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