Thursday, 19 December 2013

1st Test Day 2: India 280; SA 213/6 - Ishant Takes 3 Wickets

South Africa have come back very strongly this morning to take the last 5 wickets for 15 runs in 25 balls. The pressure was built by disciplined bowling from both Steyn and Philander early on and once Morkel broke through, big Vern mopped up the tail. So India who were hoping for something around 350 have fallen for 280. It is an ok score in the first innings on the Wanderers wicket, but at least it gives the bowlers a chance.

South Africa had a dream start to the day as they bowled India out for 280 after they resumed the day at 255/5. Their openers then escaped unscathed to Lunch before Ishant removed Petersen in the post-lunch session. The Amla-Smith partnership added close to 100 runs and it looked like South Africa were heading towards a big first innings lead but Ishant came back into the attack once again and stunned the hosts with a fantastic spell. In the process, he was a on a hat-trick with the wickets of Amla and Kallis. Zaheer then trapped Smith for the 14th time in internationals before Shami Ahmed found the outside edge of JP Duminy. A lot of hope was pinned on AB de Villiers but he too didn't last long falling LBW to Shami.

India came back strongly in the final session to take 5 wickets, but South Africa too fought back with an unbeaten 67-run stand as both teams shared honours after a fascinating day of cricket.

Zaheer Khan and Shami Ahmed bowled well before Vernon Philander brought the hosts back with a gritty knock. He's on the verge of scoring his third Test match fifty and alongside Faf du Plessis, is looking very good to cut down on the deficit. A bit more luck and India could have had a few more wickets but they will have to blame themselves on a few occasions. The latest one being the dropped catch of du Plessis by Rohit Sharma at second slip in the closing stages of the day. With this 67-run ominous looking 7th wicket stand, South Africa could even gain a lead.


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