India lost three big wickets overnight after they bowled South Africa for 286 runs in the first innings. The tourists lost Rohit Sharma in the slow first session. Only 48 runs were scored in 25 overs in the first session.
Cheteshwar Pujara played a patient knock of 92-ball 26 innings before nicking Vernon Philander to slips after lunch. He spent 154 minutes at the crease. India were then in trouble at 92/7.
Hardik Pandya lifted India with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who got off the mark on his 34th ball. Pandya dominanted the eighth-wicket partnership. He was dropped on 15 and then raced to a second half-century in 46 balls. India went to tea with him and Bhuvneshwar unbeaten.
The partnership ended in 99 runs when Morne Morkel got the breakthrough. Bhuvneshwar made 25 runs from 86 balls with 4 fours. Pandya was eyeing his second Test hundred but Kagiso Rabada got the better of him. The hard-hitting batsman hammered 93 runs off 95 deliveries including 14 fours and 1 six.
India managed 209 runs in 73.4 overs giving the Proteas a 77-run lead. Rabada and Philander took three wickets each. Morkel and Dale Steyn took two each. Steyn left the field after bruising his left heel.
Openers Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram made a solid start to South Africa’s second innings. They added 52 for thr first wicket. Elgar was dismissed by Pandya for 25. Pandya then sent back Markroom too, who made 43-ball 34 with 7 fours.
The hosts finished the second day with 65/2 in 20 overs, leading by 142 runs. Nightwatchman Rabada (2*) and Hashim Amla (4*) will start day three for South Africa.
South Africa 286 & 65/2 in 20 overs (Markram 34, Elgar 25; Pandya 2/17)
India 209 allout in 73.4 overs (Pandya 93, Pujara 26; Rabada 3/33, Philander 3/34)
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com