Centurion: AB De Villiers kept South Africa ahead after Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah helped India claw into the contest as play was called off due to bad light on the third day of the second Test in Centurion.
The day began with Hardik Pandya needlessly throwing away his wicket as he was run out by Vernon Philander. But it was a determined Indian skipper at the other end who didn’t let go of any opportunity to score but at the same time, batted with responsibility to once again prove why he is such a highly rated batsman in modern day cricket.
Taking over from where he left on the second day, the 29-year-old powered his way to a magnificent century, his 21st in Test cricket that kept India in the contest even though he was running out of partners at the other end. Ravichandran Ashwin, who had scalped four wickets in the first innings, stitched a crucial 71-run stand with Kohli as they were able to reduce the deficit to just 28 runs, before being bowled out of 307 runs. Kohli himself scored more than half of his team’s first innings score as his 153 is the second Test hundred by an Indian captain in South Africa after Sachin Tendulkar’s 169 in Cape Town in the year 1997.
The Indian skipper also equalled Cheteshwar Pujara’s top score as the joint highest by an Asian batsman in South Africa. Kohli’s majestic knock came of 217 balls where he hit 15 fours.
In reply, Jasprit Bumrah, playing only his second Test match took India off to a flying start as he trapped both in-form Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla. He could have another but a misjudgement between Patel and Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip resulted in a dropped catch.
From being 3/2 at one point of time, De Villiers led the way with a magnificent 50, and he and Elgar ensured that no more damage was done as the duo batted with dogged resistance and helped South Africa take an 118-run lead with two days remaining. Certainly, with day two producing two of the best displays of batting from both sides, the match is all set to be a cracker.
South Africa 335 all out and 90/2 (AB De Villiers 50*, Dean Elgar 36*; Jasprit Bumrah 2/30) lead India 307 (Virat Kohli 153, Murali Vijay 46; Morne Morkel 4/60) by 118 runs.