Sharma hits 3rd series ton, India 224-3 vs SAfrica at stumps

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India South Africa Cricket

India's Rohit Sharma bats during first day of the third and last cricket test match between India and South Africa in Ranchi, India, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

RANCHI, India (AP) — India reached 224-3 at stumps after bad light and rain forced an early end to the first day of the third test against South Africa on Saturday.

Rohit Sharma is unbeaten on 117 after scoring his third hundred in this series. He has shared 185 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket with Ajinkya Rahane, who is 83 not out.

The evening session lasted only 30 minutes before umpires took players off the field due to bad light. Rain arrived a few minutes later, and play was called off at around 4 p.m. local time.

India reached lunch on 71-3 — after being reduced to 39-3 — before dominating the afternoon session with 134 runs to go to tea at 205-3.

Rahane has hit 11 fours and a six, outdone by Sharma with 14 fours and four sixes. The pair brought up their 100-partnership off 128 balls.

Sharma was able to clear the ropes with ease and, with 17 sixes in three tests, has recorded the most hit by a batsman in any test series. The previous record was 15 sixes by West Indies' Shemron Hetmyer against Bangladesh.

Rahane reached his fourth half-century in the last four innings, and Sharma then notched up his sixth test hundred and third in five innings as a newly discovered opener.

Earlier, Kagiso Rabada dismissed both Mayank Agarwal (10) and Cheteshwar Pujara (0). Anrich Nortje had trapped Virat Kohli (12) leg before wicket for his first test wicket.

India took an insurmountable 2-0 lead in the three-match series after winning the first two tests in Visakhapatnam and Pune.


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