New Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS) Ajinkya Rahane achieved the landmark distinction of two centuries in the same match as India declared their second innings at 267/5 before lunch on Day Four of the fourth and final cricket Test against South Africa at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Sunday. South Africa made 5/1 in their second stint.
Rahane remained unbeaten on 100 with eight boundaries and three sixes. The Mumbai lad, who had scored 127 in the first innings, thus notched up back to back centuries in same Test for the fifth ton of his career.
Rahane is the fifth Indian batsman to achieve the feat. The others who earned the distinction earlier were Vijay Hazare, Sunil Gavaskar (thrice each), Rahul Dravid (twice) and the current skipper Virat Kohli (once).
Wriddhiman Saha was unbeaten on 23 at the other end.
India built up a lead of 480 runs when the declaration came. The Proteas trailed by 475 runs at lunch with opener Temba Bavuma and Hashim Amla at the crease. Opener Dean Elgar was out for four.
Pacer Morne Morkel was the standout performer among the Proteas bowlers with figures of 3/51. Fellow pacer Kyle Abbott (1/47) and leg-spinner Imran Tahir (1/74) also got a wicket each.
Starting at the overnight score of 190/4, India lost captain Virat Kohli in the fifth over of the day.
Kohli scored 88 runs before being trapped leg before by pacer Kyle Abbott. The Delhi lad hit 10 boundaries during his 165-ball knock.
Abbott got Kohli with one that kept low after pitching outside off stump. Kohli’s dismissal brought to an end his 154-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Rahane.
The partisan home crowd at the Kotla, who were left stunned at Kohli’s dismissal, soon found their voice again as Rahane scored at a brisk clip and gradually approached his century.
The 27-year-old started to unleash the big shots as he approached his century, hitting Tahir for a six over midwicket before stepping out to smash Elgar into the stands in the next over. He had earlier lifted a Morkel delivery for a six over third man.
He completed his century with a single off Tahir as the crowd leapt to their feet in applause.