SA vs IND, 3rd Test, Day 2, Review: Bowlers bring India back in the game yet again
The visitors now lead by 42 runs with the score reading 49/1 at stumps.
Updated - Jan 25, 2018 9:09 pm
The second day of the third and final Test between India and South Africa began with both the teams looking to dominate each other. The visitors needed wickets on a bowling paradise after being bowled out for 187 on the first day to keep themselves in the game, while the hosts only needed to bat time and frustrate their opposition. However, the pitch was expected to quicken up in the morning which was witnessed by the batsmen and struggled their way throughout the day.
The overnight pair of Dean Elgar and Kagiso Rabada walked out to bat on a sunny morning. The attritional battle between the bat and ball continued as the Indian bowlers also pitched the ball in right areas. The batters played and missed a plethora of balls before Elgar edged a superb delivery by Bhuvneshwar Kumar to the wicket-keeper. He was nicely set up by the bowler and could only score 4 runs after facing 40 balls. South Africa were 16/2 in the first hour and there were fears of falling quick wickets.
Rabada and Amla settle nerves
The arrival of Hashim Amla settled down the nerves of Rabada as well with both riding their luck much like the Indian skipper Virat Kohli. They weren’t dropped though but missed a lot of balls playing away from the body. The duo saw off the tough period when Ishant Sharma and Bhuvi bowled some tight lines. However, the like Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah could sustain the pressure and leaked runs in their respective first spells on the day.
Rabada played some delightful strokes meanwhile which were enjoyed by his teammates in the dressing room as well. Even Amla got into his groove by scoring 5 boundaries in his unbeaten stay. Just when it felt like both will continue to frustrate India, Ishant found an edge of Rabada’s bat which was pouched safely by Ajinkya Rahane at gully. He received a standing ovation for his efforts and his 84-ball stay for 30 runs.
Though India missed out on a chance to dismiss AB de Villiers on a duck by not taking the review, he was castled by Bhuvi with a superb incoming delivery which uprooted his middle stump. Soon the wickets of Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock came as the visitors stormed back into the game. While the skipper du Plessis shouldered arms to see his stumps shattered, de Kock inside-edged a delivery from Jasprit Bumrah as they were suddenly reduced to 125/6.
Meanwhile, Amla reached his 37th Test half-century after surviving close shaves with DRS as well. But the final session once again saw wickets falling in clumps after a 44-run partnership between Amla and Vernon Philander. Jasprit Bumrah was the star for India who scalped his maiden five-wicket haul and restricted the opposition’s lead to just 7 runs. South Africa was eventually bundled out for 194 in the first innings.
India weather the new ball
The visitors bluffed everyone by sending Parthiv Patel to open along with Murali Vijay. The move failed though as he was dismissed only for 16 runs with KL Rahul walking out to bat at number 3. However, India batted well as the batting seemed fairly easy with the sun beating down. They weathered the new ball successfully and batted their way easily until stumps. There were a few plays and misses but overall the duo looked comfortable with India ending the day on 49/1 with the lead of 42.
The third day should be another moving day in the Test match which might well decide the winner of the game by the end. India would look to extend their lead up to at least 200 and the way the pitch is playing that score should be enough in the fourth innings.
India 187 (V Kohli 54, C Pujara 50; K Rabada 3/39, A Phehlukwayo 2/25) & 49/1 (KL Rahul 16*; V Philander 1/11)
South Africa 194 (H Amla 61, V Philander 35; J Bumrah 5/54, B Kumar 3/44)