Bumrah, Shami, Yadav share nine wickets among them, India lead by 70 runs.
Brief Scores: India 57-2 (V Kohli 14*, M Jansen 1-7) & 223 (V Kohli 79, C Pujara 43, K Rabada 4-73, M Jansen 3-55) lead South Africa 210 (K Petersen 72, T Bavuma 28, J Bumrah 5-42) by 70 runs at Stumps on Day 2
After a disciplined and impressive day with ball in hand, folding India for just 223, hosts South Africa eyed for rectifying their old mistakes with bat in hand and score a huge first innings total to put immense pressure on the tourists. On a track that did so much even on the first day, any lead of about 60-80 runs could easily decide the series winner.
India under some bright sunshine would have aimed to be on target from the beginning to get back into the game.
The 22-yard strip on Day 2 at Newlands
The pitch looked to be better for batting with the sun and heat. Therefore, it would be hard work for the Indian bowlers physically and mentally to be patient and keep on bowling consistent lines and lengths. The cracks could open up which would allow Ravichandran Ashwin, the spinner, not to only dry up the runs but pick up some wickets.
Van der Dussen-Petersen fifty-run partnership held castle after India’s double strike; South Africa 100-3 at Lunch
Visitors India began the day on a perfect note sending overnight opener Aiden Markram by a sharp inswinger from Jasprit Bumrah; even though the nightwatchman, Keshav Maharaj did frustrate India with so many edgy boundaries behind the wickets or plays and misses, Umesh Yadav on the stroke of the drinks break, double-bluffed him with a peach of a delivery.
Since then, Keegan Petersen and Rassie van der Dussen looked quite aggressive in their batting, taking some calculative chances in scoring runs against all the bowlers. Playing almost in an ODI mode, they stitched up a 55*-run partnership going into Lunch.
The faces in the Proteas camp painted the fact that at the moment they were slightly ahead in the game trailing by just 123 runs while the Indians strolled back to the shades in a gingerly manner. It was quite a decent session for the bowling group who might feel a bit unlucky for not getting enough rewards for their efforts.
India nosed ahead with Shami-Bumrah fightback, South Africa 176-7 at Tea
The middle period didn’t start well for the hosts. Rassie van der Dussen who looked nervous taking some suicidal singles, went hard to get an edge as the Indian captain took a sharp catch. But, again, the tourists seemed to lose the grip on the game as Temba Bavuma and Keegan Petersen had just begun to find their feet hitting some beautiful shots.
Nonetheless, India made an excellent comeback in the game in the last 50 minutes before the break as Mohammed Shami first sent back Bavuma and two balls later got the better of Kyle Verreynne as Virat Kohli completed his 100th Test catch. Jasprit Bumrah brought an early Tea cartwheeling Marco Jansen’s stump all over the ground.
Petersen was still looking for his maiden Test hundred and provided the Proteas a little hope. But if India somehow wrapped up the hosts with an advantage of around 30 runs, it would be such a huge difference in the game. Although, they had to remember, that the opponents had scored 50 runs for the last three wickets at Wanderers.
Bumrah 5-fer provided India a slender lead of 13 runs
India’s premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah began the last session from where he left, sending back the big fish, Petersen for 72. But the host’s tailenders frustrated the tourists for about an hour scoring 31 crucial runs. Finally, Bumrah came back to pick up his 7th 5-wicket haul, joint most for an Indian seamer after 27 Tests alongside Kapil Dev and Irfan Pathan, providing his team a lead of 13 runs.
India extended lead to 70 runs losing both openers
In that tricky one-hour period, India lost both their openers. Mayank Agarwal, just after hitting a gorgeous straight drive, found a peach of a delivery from Kagiso Rabada, who later in the day surpassed Dale Steyn in a devasting record of bowling most no-balls (35) by a South African in a series of three or fewer Tests. KL Rahul went back to the hut edging a wide delivery.
But since then, both Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli settled down the nerves in the visitors’ camp with an unbeaten 33-run partnership giving respect to the good balls. The opponents kept on trying their best, but both the batters seemed to be so attentive on their job.
What to look forward on Day 3
The first hour tomorrow will be so vital for both the sides. The hosts will love to pick up early wickets, especially the head of the snake, Virat Kohli, while India will look to bat long enough targeting at least 260-280 runs to throw at the Proteas for the 4th innings chase. The game is even-stevens at the moment; although the first session on day three could decide the fate of the series-decider.
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