Sehwag slams ton, leads India's strong reply of 176 for no loss

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Chennai, Mar 28 (UNI) With openers providing swashbuckling start India went into the lunch break at 176 for no loss in their first innings on the third day of the first Test match against South Africa at the M A Chidambaram stadium here today.

Wasim Jaffer (60, 143 balls, 219 mnts, 5 fours, one six) and Virender Sehwag (110, 133 balls, 219 mnts, 16 fours, one six) were at the crease. India's total came off 46 overs.

The South African pace trio had a torrid time as the openers Sehwag, batting on 52, and the recalled Wasim Jaffer (on 25), making the best of his return to the team, picked up the gauntlet again, resuming India's marathon chase of South Africa's first innings score of 540, from the overnight score of 82 for no loss in 21 overs.

India posted the 100 mark in 24 overs and 116 minutes, with Sehwag on 61 and Jaffer on 34.

The Proteas' skipper Graeme Smith brought in Jacques Kallis for Ntini at the northern end after the latter conceded 12 runs in three overs in what was his second spell and as both Sehwag and Jaffer continued to play some delectable shots in front of the wicket as well. Sehwag continued to demoralise the South African attack and gathered runs at will. There were few balls which really beat the bat as soon Sehwag and Jaffer hoisted the 152-run stand, emulating the South African pair of Smith and Niel McKenzie in the first innings when the Proteas batted.

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