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India sets Proteas with 395 runs to win as Sharma scores back-to-back tons

India kept the pressure on the Proteas in the nine overs that were possible before bad light brought a slightly early close to the day's proceedings.

Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma (R) raises his bat after scoring a century (100 runs) during the fourth day's play of the first Test match between India and South Africa at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on 5 October 2019. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Rohit Sharma continued his fine form with the bat as the opener completed back-to-back centuries to enable India to regain a firm grip on the opening Test match against the Proteas at Visakhapatnam on Saturday.

South Africa had done extremely well to restrict India’s first-innings lead to just 71 runs and the home side needed to score quickly to give themselves a chance to have a second crack at the visiting batsmen before the close of play on day four.

And that is exactly what Sharma enabled them to do. He finished on 127 as India would eventually declare their second innings on 324/4, leaving South Africa a massive 395 runs to win.

India kept the pressure on the Proteas in the nine overs that were possible before bad light brought a slightly early close to the day's proceedings.

Ravindra Jadeja picking the all-important wicket of first-innings centurion Dean Elgar LBW with a ball that kept low.

The Proteas closed on 11/1 and need another 384 to win.

So far only 22 wickets have fallen in the match and, apart from variable bounce, batting for long periods seems quite achievable, giving the visitors a decent chance of surviving on the final and trying to force a draw.

Vernon Philander, as one of only two pace bowlers in this match for South Africa, said he and Kagiso Rabada just tried to build pressure.

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