India await innings victory as South Africa reaches 172/7 at tea on day 4

South Africa tour of India, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Nigel Llong, second test, day four
Indian players celebrate the dismissal of South Africa's Theunis de Bruyn on day 4 of the 2nd cricket test match at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. Photo: PTI

Following on, South Africa were 172 for seven in their second innings at tea on the fourth day of the second Test against India in Pune on Sunday (October 13).

South Africa still trail India by 154 runs with three wickets in hand.

Vernon Philander (29 not out) and Keshav Maharaj (17 not out) were the two unbeaten batsmen at the crease.

In the post-lunch session, Ravindra Jadeja (2/47 in 19 overs) removed Quinton de Kock (5) and Temba Bavuma (38) while Mohammed Shami (1/34 in 9 overs), with a short delivery, got rid of Senuran Muthusamy (9).

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However, Philander (29 batting) and Maharaj (17 batting) again came together to delay the inevitable adding 43 runs in 16.1 overs.

After dealing with wicketless first innings, Indian pacer Ishant Sharma (1/17 off 5 overs) shook the Proteas opener Aiden Markram, with a full-length in-dipper in the very second delivery of the morning for duck and the leg-before wicket decision was given by umpire Nigel Llong.

After a long discussion with non-striker Elgar, Markram didn’t opt for the review but TV replays clearly showed the ball was missing the leg-stump. The opener thus had the ignominy of bagging a pair in this Test.

Dean Elgar (48 off 72 balls) tried to put some resistance before spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2/8 in 8 overs) snuffed him out in what was a decisive blow for the Proteas just before lunch.

However, it was Wriddhiman Saha’s superb keeping skills that had all those present on the edge of their seats, as he showed why he is so highly rated for his glovework.

Also read: India bowl out South Africa for 275, take 326-run lead on day 3

On the third morning during South African first innings, poor Theunis de Bruyn (8) had suffered trying to play an expansive cover drive off Umesh Yadav (1/14 off 5 overs) that Saha had plucked from thin air in front of the first slip.

On the fourth morning, De Bruyn tried playing a delicate glance after Umesh had drifted on the pads. To his horror, he saw an airborne Saha pull off an acrobatic stunner that left everyone on the edge of their seats.

Elgar and skipper Faf du Plessis (5 off 54 balls) added 49 runs and were ready to show patience, especially the skipper, who was presenting dead bat.

However, the ultra-defensive tactic didn’t work for a lengthy period as Du Plessis got out trying to drive an Ashwin off-break. The bat-pad inside edge kept low but Saha’s sharp reflexes meant that he pouched it on the fourth attempt.

Elgar, who lost a bit of concentration, tried to play a lofted shot but didn’t get his timing right as Umesh ran back from his mid-off position to take a fine running catch.

Brief Scores:

India 1st innings: 601 for 5 declared

South Africa 1st innings: 275 all out & 172 for 7 in 61 overs (Dean Elgar 48; Ravichandran Ashwin 2/45).

(With inputs from agencies)

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