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Vijay the star on opening day of Durban Test

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India won the toss and both the sessions that were completed to finish day one of the second Sunfoil Test match against South Africa at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Thursday on 181/1 in 61 overs. Only eight overs were possible in the final session before bad light made its regular appearance at this venue. As a result play will start 30 minutes early tomorrow.

It has been a long time since the Proteas world-class pace attack has had such a disappointing opening day. It was a good toss for MS Dhoni to win under clear skies with plenty of heat and humidity in the atmosphere. The pitch was also drier than usual for a first day and the Proteas had to manage without the help either swing or seam throughout the day.

Morne Morkel completed a miraculous return from injury to take his place in the Proteas line-up with the only change being in the spin bowling department where Robbie Peterson was preferred to Imran Tahir. India made their only change in the same area with Ravindra Jadeja taking the place of R. Ashwin.

Apart from the dismissal by Morkel of Shikhar Dhawan, caught at third slip by Alviro Petersen, after an opening partnership of 41 with Murali Vijay it was a day without reward for the Proteas attack. There were no chances or even half-chances missed as the rest of the day belonged to Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara.

They shared an unbroken stand of 140 for the second wicket off 47.5 overs with Vijay finishing nine short of his fourth Test match century and his first against a country other than Australia (91 off 201 balls, 17 fours). Morkel was the only bowler to trouble him with his ability to extract some bounce from the docile surface.

Pujara followed up his top score from the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium with another patient and polished display, finishing the day on 58 (117 balls, 7 fours).

It was a day of honest endeavour on a sluggish pitch without reward for the five-man Proteas attack.