IND vs SA 2nd Test, Day 3: SA 34/0, need 206 runs to win

Insight Online News

Johannesburg, Jan 5 : South Africa reached 34/0 at tea on Day 3 of the second Test here at the Wanderers stadium on Wednesday. The hosts need 206 runs to win the match and level the three-match series.

Chasing a target of 240, South Africa captain Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram got off to a steady start and ended the second session without any loss. While Elgar (10 not out) had a watchful start, Markram (24 not out) fired after quickly settling in.

Earlier, South Africa bundled out India for 266 runs with Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen picking three wickets each. Rabada led South Africa’s fightback after Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane’s century stand for the third wicket.

India scored 103 runs in the first session and another 78 runs before folding in second session. The visitors dominated the first hour of play but soon Rabada tilted the match towards South Africa, making it closely contested affair.

Pujara and Rahane batted with lot of quality and intent. The top-order batters took on the South African attack for back-to-back boundaries and brought up their brisk fifties. The duo ended their struggle with form but failed to convert their fifties into big scores.

Rabada got the much-needed breakthrough as he removed Rahane (58) with a peach of the delivery. The ball nipped off from the back of a length, got the outside edge of Rahane and Kyle Verreynne took an easy catch behind the stumps. Although the umpire took a while to get his finger up, there was no doubt in the minds of South Africa that they had pulled one back.

Rahane’s departure also ended a 100-run partnership with Pujara for the third wicket. Soon, Rabada struck again and got another set batter – Pujara (53). The ball nipped back and crashed into Pujara’s pads, leading the umpire to raise his finger. The right-hander walked back to the pavilion but not before reviewing the decision.

Rabada got his third wicket as he dismissed Rishabh Pant on a duck. The wicketkeeper-batter went for the wild slog but got the outside edge and Verreynne took an easy catch behind stumps.

Pant’s dismissal led to former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar fuming in the commentary box. It was a careless shot from Pant. His wicket brought South Africa back into the game.

Ngidi joined the party as he angled down the leg stump and Ravichandran Ashwin got the fine edge, leading to another easy catch for Verreynne behind stumps at the stroke of lunch.

Shardul Thakur played some swashbuckling shots after resumption, smashing five fours and a six in his 24-ball 28. After hitting a boundary off Jansen the ball was changed as it landed in a puddle of water.

The change of ball brought a change in fortune for South Africa as Jansen ended Shardul’s show. On a short ball, Shardul gave a simple catch to the fielder at deep square leg. Hanuma Vihari and the tailenders added crucial 38 runs, with Vihari unbeaten on 40.

UNIINDIA

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