South Africa in Deep Trouble at the end of Day 2
Leher Reddy Challuri DP 1
On the 3rd of October in Visakhapatman, Ravichandran Ashwin and Mayank Agarwal impressed on Day 2 as South Africa’s chances of victory slipped further.
The openers picked up where they left off, hitting boundaries to all parts of the ground and striking a perfect balance of attack and defense. Sharma was given a chance at 125 in the 64th over as the keeper dropped an edge. Agarwal could have also been run out in the 66th over for 92 had the throw and collection been better. He went on to get his maiden ton in his first test on home soil in the 69th over off 204 deliveries. Rohit Sharma persisted with his aggression and went on to 150 off 224 deliveries in the 76th over.
Agarwal also began to play with more aggression, hitting the ball nicely along the ground and going arial as well. The pair put up a record 317-run opening partnership for India against South Africa. Sharma sliced a six not far away from deep extra cover in the 82nd over and followed up with a solid four to cover the very next delivery, only to be dismissed at the end of the over, stumped for 176 off 244 deliveries. India went to lunch at 324-1 off 88 overs, in a solid position to put up a mammoth score.
The second session got off to a bad start, however, as Pujara was bowled for 6. Mayank Agarwal made his way to 150 off 294 balls alongside Virat Kohli, who entertained with four beautiful drives, but could not go on for long as he chipped the ball back to the bowler for 20 off 40 balls in the 104th over. The two did put on a good-sized 53-run partnership, however. Agarwal began to play with even more intent as he got to 200 in the 116th over. Him and Rahane put together 54 runs for the 4th wicket. Rahane played well initially but was dismissed cheaply for 15 in the 118th over, caught at cover. Agarwal was dismissed soon as well, sweeping the ball straight to deep midwicket for a splendid innings of 215 off 371 deliveries. India ended the second session at 450-5, still at a strong position despite the loss of 4 wickets.
Vihari was dismissed early into the third session in the 124th over for 10, slogging the ball straight to long off. Wriddhiman Saha, on his return to test cricket, began his innings with two boundaries guided down to third man. He was aggressive from the get-go despite some difficulty coping with turn and bounce against the spinners, and Ravindra Jadeja began to pick up the pace as well. His cameo worth 21 runs off 16 deliveries came to an abrupt end in the 132nd over. Soon after in the 137th over, India declared at 502-7, with Jadeja finishing the innings 30* and Ravichandran Ashwin 1*.
Kagiso Rabada was economical without any success, conceding only 66 runs off 24 overs. Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Dean Elgar, and Semuran Muthusamy ended up with a wicket each. Philander was economical, going for just 68 runs off 22 overs. Elgar bowled just one over, but Piedt and Muthusamy were expensive, conceding 107 off 19 overs and 63 off 15 overs. Keshav Maharaj took his time to pick up wickets, but he did end up with relatively respectable figures of 3-189 off 55 overs.
Dean Elgar began his innings with two boundaries down the leg side. Markram hit a boundary before being dismissed by a delivery that turned in sharply and bowled him for 5 in the 8th over. Elgar hit a wonderful six off the spinner and looked the most comfortable at the crease. Apart from the one boundary on his sixth delivery, Theunis De Bruyn scored nothing more and was stumped after facing 25 balls in the 17th over.
Dane Piedt, sent in as a night watchman, played for turn, but let the delivery slip through the gate, being dismissed for a duck in the 18th over. Temba Bavuma could have also been dismissed, but survived late in the day, chipping the ball straight to short leg, who ended up dropping the opportunity. South Africa ended the day at 39-3, trailing India by 463 runs, with Elgar 27* and Bavuma 2*, looking in deep trouble.
With the test match very much in India’s favour at the moment, how will South Africa respond? Will they produce a masterclass bowling display to display India’s patience or will India gain further control of the proceedings? Join us tomorrow on the Sreenidhian to find out!