Skipper Cheteshwar Pujara hit a scintillating 140 (205b, 17x4) as India ‘A’ reached 281 for three against South Africa ‘A’ at stumps on the opening day of the first ‘Test’ here on Saturday.

Pujara, who elected to bat, forged a 176-run partnership with Rohit Sharma (70 batting, 159b, 8x4, 1x6) after putting on 66 runs for the second wicket with opener Murali Vijay (44, 115b, 6x4, 1x6).

Earlier, opener Shikhar Dhawan (11) took time to see off the initial phase but the Delhi batsman could not stay longer at the crease, getting dismissed by Simon Harmer.

Vijay, however, looked in good touch right from the beginning and along with Pujara steadied the ship after the fall of Dhawan. He was dismissed by Andrew Birch when he had him caught by Harmer at second slip in the 38th over.

Pujara and Rohit then joined hands and kept picking up singles and twos and also put away the bad balls for boundaries. The duo made the South Africa ‘A’ bowlers toil hard and took India A to 147 for two at tea.

After the break, Pujara and Rohit kept the scoreboard ticking and had no problem in getting boundaries.

Both the batsmen picked up seven boundaries each and scored 123 runs between them. Pujara was dismissed by Wayne Parnell.

The scores: India ‘A’ 281 for three (M. Vijay 44, C. Pujara 140, Rohit Sharma 70 batting) vs. South Africa ‘A’. — PTI

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