By Lucy Jayne Rees
South Africa’s second Test match is in for a treat on day four, after being set up nicely on the close of play.
South Africa got to 118-2 and need 122 runs to win. With Dean Elgar not out on 46, South Africa are in a very good position at the 2nd Test at the Wanderers.
Day three saw captivating Test cricket, and the game could still go either way, with South Africa at 118/2, needing 122 more runs but India only needing eight wickets to win the Test.
India started the day at 85/2, only leading by 58 runs, with Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane at the crease. Both Pujara and Rahane gained momentum at the crease against a power-lacking South African bowling lineup.
Pujara and Rahane were scoring over four runs an over, rotating strike effectively and sending loose deliveries to the boundary. And with both batters bringing up equally deserved half-centuries, the partnership continued.
The rest of the Indian batting lineup, was dismantled by an inspirational spell of bowling from Kagiso Rabada, who brought fire to the Protea attack. KG dismissed Pujara and Rahane in quick succession after he picked up the wicket of wicket-keeper-batter, Rishabh Pant.
India’s number five, Hanuma Vihari, was solid in his defence and held up one end. He scored an unbeaten 40 off 84 deliveries, dripping pure class. Ravichandran Ashwin and Shardul Thakur then scored 16 off 14 balls and 28 off 24 balls.
India was dismissed for 266, leading South Africa by 240 runs. In addition to Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen picked up three wickets each, and Duanne Olivier picked up one wicket.
South Africa began their innings fairly aggressively, with Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram displaying their motives in their approach to chasing down 240. Markram impressed with a 31 off 38 balls. His off Bumrah and Shami were illustrative of his ball-striking ability.
Markram was dismissed LBW off a Shardul Thakur in-swinger, which has been a pattern that has been observed with Markram, particularly because he marks an Off Stump guard and has had a tendency to play across the line. Keegan Petersen scored 28 off 44 deliveries and looked like he was carrying on from his heroics in the first innings of the Test match until he was dismissed LBW off Ravichandran Ashwin.
Dean Elgar was at his resolute best, taking multiple blows to his body, including a couple to his helmet, which required the immediate attention of the physio, as per the ICC’s concussion protocol. Elgar remained unbeaten on 46 off 121 balls. Rassie van der Dussen, who looked to better his first innings performance, was unbeaten on 11 off 37 balls.