Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

Late wickets give India advantage on day one

A file image of Shikhar Dhawan in South A file image of Shikhar Dhawan in South
Lucia Summers | 14 January, 2018, 16:26

South Africa were dismissed for 335 fourteen minutes before lunch on the second day of the second Sunfoil Test against India here on Sunday morning.

In South Africa the spinners were the underdogs as the pitches assist pace and bounce.

Hashim Amla (82) consolidated South Africa's innings along with Markram and kept the scoreboard ticking until the latter fell at the team's score of 148.

The day changed dramatically with an outstanding piece of fielding by Hardik Pandya, who ran out Amla for 82.

Having been set the first innings target of 336‚ their chase did not get off to a good start as Morne Morkel was responsible for India's first wicket shortly after lunch when he bowled and caught Rahul who mistimed his shot in the Rahul in the tenth over. Feet going nowhere, Rahul pushed well in front of his body at a full one and spooned back a return catch, while Pujara, haring out of his crease after clipping his first ball to the right of mid-on, was run-out by a brilliantly athletic pick-up and direct hit from the debutant Lungi Ngidi. India removed South Africa's last seven batsmen for just 89 runs.

But the first two sessions was all about chase the leather for the Indian fielders as the South Africa batsmen made hay.

Bautista Agut Outlasts Del Potro for ATP Auckland Title
He had beaten Steve Johnson in three sets in Wednesday's second round. He again saved a break point before winning the set in 50 minutes.

After test tons against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe since his September debut, Markram now also has two scores in the 90s having made a fine start to his five-day career as the answer to South Africa's long-running issues with the opening position.

The India quicks, Shami aside, had been well disciplined, but Jasprit Bumrah was taken for 13 in an over before Virat Kohli wasted a review for caught behind when he thought Elgar had edged Ashwin through to Parthiv. Aiden Markram, playing on home ground, made a classy 94, falling agonisingly short of a century at a venue that means much to him.

By tea, he had hit six fours and played the lead role in an unbroken partnership of 52 with Murali Vijay, who was 31 not out.

Meanwhile, Amla and Markram added 63 runs for the second wicket. Wicket keeper Saha has a niggle in his hamstring and he is replaced by Parthiv Patel.

India didn't make it easier for themselves too. His slash through point the ball after tea was one of the strongest shows of his intent; his drive down the ground off Ashwin five overs later showed off his timing and his crunch through the covers that brought up his fifty was another example of his unmatched wristwork, particularly among his team-mates. Ngidi, 21, played in three Twenty20 internationals last season but has played in only nine first-class matches, taking 31 wickets at an average of 20.45.

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