CENTURION, South Africa (AP) — South Africa's openers batted through the first session to go to lunch on 78-0 on Day 1 of the second test against India on Saturday.
Aiden Markram was 51 not out, with Dean Elgar undefeated on 26, as they made the most of a surprisingly hospitable pitch for batting in Centurion.
The pair provided a solid start after South Africa won the toss and opted to bat first at SuperSport Park, where a typically fast, bouncy Centurion pitch had been predicted. The surface appeared nothing like that after 27 overs on the opening morning.
Playing on his home ground, Markram pounced on anything loose by the Indian seamers to hit nine fours and move to a second half-century in his fifth test. He's also made two hundreds.
There was one positive from the session for top-ranked India, which trails 1-0 in the three-match series. That was the turn produced by offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin in his four overs.
Ashwin troubled the left-handed Elgar in particular and had a close call for caught behind turned down shortly before lunch. India captain Virat Kohli reviewed the not out decision, apparently certain that it was the breakthrough. The DRS showed Elgar clipped his front pad with his bat but there was no edge.