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Cheteshwar Pujara brings India A to a dictating position – 1st unofficial Test vs. South Africa A

Zia Rana August 17, 2013

India A 3-281 (Cheteshwar Pujara 140, Rohit Sharma 70*, Murali Vijay 44, Andrew Birch 1-42) vs. South Africa A

An elegant ton by the India A skipper, Cheteshwar Pujara, well assisted by Rohit Sharma brought their team into a commanding position against  South Africa A.

The Men in Blue A hammered 281 runs for the loss of just three wickets in 90 overs in their first innings.

The 1st unofficial Test of the two match series commenced on Saturday, August 17, 2013, at Olympia Park, Rustenburg.

Earlier, Cheteshwar Pujara won the toss for the visitors and opted to bat first on a good looking surface. Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay initiated the innings quietly by scoring just 20 runs in 14 overs with 2 fours from the latter. Dhawan hit the first six of the innings in the next over but was gone as the score touched 28. He was caught by Reeza Hendricks at first slip off Simon Harmer for 11 from 46 balls and was replaced by Pujara. Vijay got 10 runs in the 19th over with 1 six and 1 four followed by another 2 boundaries in the coming overs.

Cheteshwar Pujara - A commanding ton

Cheteshwar Pujara – A commanding ton

Pujara opened his account with a single on the 18th ball he faced and got his rhythm by hitting 6 fours until the 35th over. The score was taken to 94 when Murali Vijay was caught by Harmer in the 2nd slip off Andrew Birch for 44 scored from 115 deliveries with 1 six and 6 fours. Rohit Sharma got together with Pujara who reached his 25th First-class fifty in the 48th over as the first dispatched a six in the next one. The duo was going along well and kept on piling up runs with the assistance of regular boundaries.

Cheteshwar Pujara was the most attacking of the two and was sending the loose ball out of fence at will. Rohit Sharma added 2 fours in the 70th over as the score went past the 200 runs mark in the next one. Sharma attained his 21st First-class half century three overs later whereas Pujara smashed his 21st First-class hundred in the same over. The run rate was escalated after the 79th over as the pair hit 5 fours in the following three and enhanced the score to 270 when Cheteshwar Pujara was clean bowled by Wayne Parnell for 140 off 205 comprising 17 sweetly timed fours.

Suresh  Raina Walked in next and took his time while playing out the remaining overs of the day. He remained unbeaten for 11 whereas Rohit Sharma secured his end for 70 off 159 balls with 1 six and 8 fours as India A amassed 3-281 after 90 overs.

Wayne Parnell, Andrew Birch and Simon Harmer were the only three successful bowlers with one wicket each.

India A is in a commanding position and an addition of another 100-150 runs will put them on a driving seat.

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