Rohit Sharma broke the record for highest number of sixes in a Test match as India closed in on victory against South Africa.

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Sharma hammered his second century of the match – following Sunil Gavaskar as only the second Indian opener to achieve that feat – as his side set South Africa a stiff target of 395 for victory in the first Test in Visakhapatnam.

The 32-year-old hit a total of 13 sixes in the game, including three in a row off Dane Piedt, to surpass Wasim Akram’s record for the highest number of maximums in a Test match.

Sharma (127) and Cheteshwar Pujara (81) rattled up a swift century partnership as India declared at 323-4 in their second innings, giving themselves just over a day to bowl out the Proteas for a second time.

Ravindra Jadeja struck before the close, taking the key wicket of Dean Elgar Ravindra Jadeja struck before the close, taking the key wicket of Dean Elgar Ravindra Jadeja struck before the close, taking the key wicket of Dean Elgar

The tourists lost the key wicket of Dean Elgar, leg before to Ravindra Jadeja, struggling to 11-1 in the nine overs they faced before bad light brought play to a close.

Resuming overnight at 385-8, South Africa’s last two wickets added a valuable 48 to their total, with debutant Senuran Muthuswamy finishing unbeaten on 33.

Ravi Ashwin picked up the wickets of Keshav Maharaj (9) and Kagiso Rabada (15) to finish with figures of 7-145 as India claimed a first-innings advantage of 71.

Maharaj (2-129) then removed Mayank Agarwal (7) early in the hosts’ second innings, but Sharma and Pujara quickly extended their lead with a stand of 169.

India's Ravi Ashwin finished with seven wickets in South Africa's first innings India's Ravi Ashwin finished with seven wickets in South Africa's first innings India’s Ravi Ashwin finished with seven wickets in South Africa’s first innings

Sharma amassed 10 fours and seven sixes in his 149-ball knock and, after he departed to a stumping off Maharaj, India continued to accelerate towards a declaration.