IND v SA: India lose top-order batters after bowling out South Africa for 408

South Africa increased their stronghold on the first Test by making 408 in their first innings and then took out India’s top-order of Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill to leave the visitors on 62/3 in 16 overs of their second innings at tea on Thursday.

South Africa increased their stronghold on the first Test by making 408 in their first innings and then took out India’s top-order of Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill to leave the visitors on 62/3 in 16 overs of their second innings at tea on Thursday.

Armed with a lead of 163 runs, South Africa could have got birthday boy Jaiswal out on the very first ball if Aiden Markram hadn’t shelled a chance at second slip. But the Proteas soon had their first scalp when Kagiso Rabada bowled a corker of a delivery, which seamed away amazingly to knock over Rohit Sharma’s off-stump.

Jaiswal was soon out by a rising and well-directed short ball from Nandre Burger, which he tried to evade. But the ball just brushed past the glove and edge was safely taken by Kyle Verreynne.

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Shubman Gill began with a short-arm and flick off Rabada fetching him two fours, and after getting a four on the outside edge off Rabada, he looked exquisite in his drives down the ground and on the up. But he fell for 26, playing all around a fuller ball from Marco Jansen and seeing his middle-stump being rattled.

Virat Kohli, unbeaten on 18, has played some beautiful shots, but has luck on his side. Shreyas Iyer, unbeaten on six, was troubled by the short ball from South Africa’s pacers and was lucky not to be out on the stroke of tea when Keegan Pietersen shelled his catch at third slip. With India trailing by 101 runs, they would need something mammoth from Kohli, Iyer and the following batters to take the game into day four.

Earlier in the session, Jansen was on the verge of completing his first Test hundred, but was left stranded at 84 not out as South Africa’s first innings ended at 408. Veteran opener Dean Elgar, who will retire from international cricket after the two-match Test series ends, top-scored with a majestic 185, before Jansen mixed sharp driving shots with good judgement to hit 11 fours and a six in his 84 off 147 balls.

For India, Jasprit Bumrah was pick of bowlers with 4-69, while Mohammed Siraj briefly shined in his 2-91. But their change bowlers, Prasidh Krishna and Shardul Thakur, were ineffective and lacklustre in their lines and lengths while taking a wicket each, and allowed the Proteas batters to score freely in what was a disappointing bowling show from the visitors’.

A few balls into the post-lunch session, Bumrah struck to knock over Kagiso Rabada’s off-stump and send it on a cartwheel ride. Jansen continued to be impressive in his drives, but Bumrah ended the innings by yorking Nandre Burger’s stumps, and Temba Bavuma didn’t come out to bat due to a left hamstring strain.

Brief Scores: India 245 and 62/3 in 16 overs (Shubman Gill 26; Nandre Burger 1-9) trail South Africa 408 in 108.4 overs (Dean Elgar 185, Marco Jansen 84 not out; Jasprit Bumrah 4-69, Mohammed Siraj 2-91) by 101 runs

(IANS)