Batters put South Africa on the verge of a resounding victory

JOHANNESBURG: South African top-order chipped in after the bowlers displayed combined effort to dismiss India for 266 in the second innings; putting the home side close to the victory in the second Test.

On the third day of the second Test, Indian batting collapsed to 266 all-out after Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane’s brilliant century-plus partnership. The touring set an achievable target of 230 for the Proteas.

Earlier in the day, India resumed their second innings at 85/2. Rahane and Pujara showed grit to anchor the innings for the touring side. Both the batters scored half-centuries. The duo appeared to be solid, but, Rahane fell short after scoring 58. He fell short to Kagiso Rabada’s brilliant delivery; nicking the ball straight into the gloves of Kyle Verreyne.

Soon after, Rabada also dismissed Pujara, as the pacer trapped the right-handed batter in legs. Pujara scored a fighting 53, laced with 10 boundaries.

Following his dismissal, the touring side began to lose wickets at an alarming rate, but, Hanuma Vihari stood firm at the other end. He kept the scoreboard ticking and put on a brief partnership with Shardul Thakur. The pair put on a valuable 41-runs partnership before Thakur perished. He scored a quick 28 off 24 balls; smashing five boundaries and a six.

The side, in the end, bowled for a mere 266; setting a target of 230 for the hosts. Vihari remained unbeaten with his valiant 40. He hit six boundaries.

For the proteas, Macro Jensen, Lungi Ngidi, and Kagiso Rabada each took three wickets. Duanne Olivier, on the other hand, claimed one wicket.

Set to chase 230, the South African opening pair provided a solid start to the side. The duo put on a magnificent 47-runs partnership before Aiden Markram departed after scoring 31.

Keegan Petersen then joined his skipper – Dean Elgar at the crease; putting a magnificent 46-runs partnership. Petersen looked comfortable, but, could only managed to score 28.

Dean Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen will now resume the proceedings for the proteas at 118/2; requiring 112 runs to pull off a victory. Elgar scored an unbeaten 46, while Dussen is not-out with his sensible 11.

For India, Thakur and Ravichandran Ashwin claimed one wicket apiece.

READ: Thakur, Pujara fightback to pull India back in the game