Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

South Africa 78-0, Markram on 51 in 2nd test against India

Lungi Ngidi removed Parthiv Patel and almost rapped Kohli in front of the stumps Lungi Ngidi removed Parthiv Patel and almost rapped Kohli in front of the stumps
Kristine Garrett | 14 January, 2018, 00:43

Exactly why Amla has prospered on this pitch is hard to pin down - it could have something to do with the pace of ball on bat - though on Saturday that would not have been the case. It was supposed to bring spinners into play only on the last two days.

India had set South Africa more than 450, and on the last day it was set up for the spinner in the side to help finish the hosts off. Ashwin bowled 36 overs for no wicket as South Africa first threatened to win the Test, and then eventually settled down for a draw.

South Africa should have had a far stronger hold on proceedings, but after that late fightback India will feel much better about their chances. It took a referral for the verdict to come, and when it did the Indian team was jubilant.

South Africa's Dean Elgar, plays a shot during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018.

Jasprit Bumrah, in his second Test, was elevated to new-ball bowler and failed to impress, bleeding 18 runs in his second spell of two overs.

At the close of play, Faf du Plessis (24*) was at the wicket with Keshav Maharaj (10*).

South Africa were 182 for two wickets at tea after winning the toss and batting on an easy-paced pitch.

Fast bowlers have been the leading wicket takers in Test matches for India outside the subcontinent, and their share of wickets has been the highest in the current decade. Amla, who survived a scratchy period initially, shook off the blues to find his touch and stroke the ball regally while making 82.

"I ironed out a few things, used my wrist a lot more when I delivered the ball, used my palm when I bowled the floater".

The tourists surprisingly left out their Newlands star Bhuvneshwar Kumar in favour of Ishant Sharma while Wriddhiman Saha was injured and replaced by Parthiv Patel.

Kohli made it clear he would welcome another no-holds-barred battle in conditions as tough as they were in Cape Town, where South Africa won the first Test by 72 runs.

A confident Markram reached his fifty off 81 balls and South Africa moved to 78 without loss at lunch, but Murali Vijay ended an opening stand of 85, juggling to take a catch at silly point as Ashwin tempted Elgar into a loose drive.

R Ashwin still doesn't forget the last day of the Johannesburg Test of 2013-14.

The tone for a sensational Indian comeback, after the entire third day was washed out, was set early on Monday. De Villiers had to leave for 20, and the Indians were jubilant.

Amla, on his back foot, was slow to start and Pandya raced to pick up the ball, turned and threw down the stumps at the bowler's end.

Things went from bad to worse for the Proteas when an unbelievable lapse in communication saw Vernon Philander run out for a duck. Another positive would be the courageous and bold selection of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who showed his daredevilry and panache, took the attack to the opposition and came out all guns blazing against strong South African attack.

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