South Africa 275 all out
Ashwin does the trick once again. Literally 2-3 minutes before stumps, Ashwin traps Rabada leg-before-wicket much to the relief of his teammates. He was definitely the standout bowler today finishing with four wickets. South Africa’s resistance delayed the inevitable today as India take a lead of 326 runs. It’s also stumps on day three.
India are elated. They have finally picked up a wicket after 43.1 overs. The frustrating century stand is finally broken. It was bowled much slower drifting in to the batsman and the ball takes the inside edge to be caught by Rohit at leg slip. A top knock comes to an end.
An unlikely source has put on more than 100 runs for the ninth wicket here. This is an exceptional show by these two to frustrate the Indian bowling attack. Can they actually go on to bat until the end of the day?
50 for Keshav
He might not have made an impact with the ball in this series but Maharaj is pumped up after registering his maiden Test fifty. This has been a gutsy knock from the left-arm spinner who has battled pain to keep South Africa fighting.
The resistance continues
Maharaj and Philander continue to frustrate the hosts post the Tea break. Even the new ball didn’t do the trick with the seamers unable to breach the partnership. The lights are dimming as well in Pune.
Tea – South Africa 197/8
Philander and Maharaj have managed to frustrate India in this session right at the end but the hosts will still be pleased that they managed to get rid of Faf du Plessis. The new ball will be available very shortly after the break and one would expect India to take it.
Should India enforce the follow on?
So what should India do now? They have bowled 60 overs have South Africa struggling completely. Should they enforce a follow on now and look to wrap this up soon? Or should they look to bat a few overs and wear the pitch further down before unleashing tomorrow? Remember, they do have five bowlers in this game.
Ashwin has struck and that’s a big wicket for India. Du Plessis was the only batsman offering resistance and Ashwin has removed him. This was bowled beautifully by the offspinner who pitched it on a good length outside off and the batsman had to play it because of the spin and the ball takes the outside edge to land in Rahane’s palms. South Africa are eight down.
Muthuswamy has been dismissed finally. He remained not out in Vizag but this time offers no shot to a delivery that spins in to him after pitching and the umpire raises his finger. The batsman challenges the decision but replays show red everywhere.
Lunch – South Africa 136/6
India head into the break firmly on top of this Test match. South Africa trail by 465 runs and they have only four more wickets to try and knock some of those runs. Faf du Plessis batted beautifully to register a fifty but apart from de Kock to an extent, he hasn’t found any support.
Champion delivery from the champion offspinner. De Kock is puzzled. The ball just turns slightly away after pitching to knock the bails. De Kock refuses to believe he was bowled and then the replays confirm it. South Africa had a nice little partnership building but the 75-run stand ends just before lunch.
50 for Faf
The South African skipper had a nervy beginning against Shami but has redeemed himself in the last few overs against the spinners. He has played a lot of shots against Ashwin and Jadeja and has reached his half-century off just 64 balls. Needs to bat out these few overs before the lunch break.
Warning for Ishant
Ishant Sharma has to be watchful here. Chris Gaffaney has a look at his landing area and now the seamer has been given a warning. India have also introduced Ashwin into the attack just before drinks. It will be interesting to see if he gets any purchase here.
South Africa have lost two wickets in the opening 30 minutes. This was quite close to cut and De Bruyn’s shot selection was definitely not right. The outside edge is pouched by a diving Saha as India pick up wicket number five. Both the overnight batsmen are back in the pavilion now.
No surprises here. Nortje was not expected to last long against a fresh Shami and Umesh. He edges one to the slip cordon where Virat Kohli takes the catch gleefully. India get their early wicket as Faf du Plessis strides out to the middle.
Our man at the venue, Prakash penned down his thoughts on Kohli’s masterful double evening. Have a read here. And Luke Alfred on the other hand, worries South Africa’s decline might some day knock them out of the top eight.
The script is being played out perfectly by India so far. Win the toss, bat first, score a truckload of runs and then declare to nick a couple of tired-looking batsmen just before stumps. In this case, make it three. After posting 601 on the board, India’s seamers rattled South Africa big time with the new ball late on the second day. Comeback man Umesh Yadav was the star removing both the openers before Mohammed Shami struck first ball to get rid of Temba Bavuma.
At 36/3, trailing by another 565 runs against a five-man bowling attack, South Africa have little hope. Faf du Plessis will have to lead from the front and Quinton de Kock has to deliver again like he did in the first innings in Vizag. Even then, the prospect of avoiding the follow-on appears to be slim. Virat Kohli, who made a masterful unbeaten 254 yesterday will be charged up to lead his troops and end South Africa’s misery as early as possible. Welcome to the live blog for the third day’s play in Pune. Tweet in your opinions to @Narbavi and have them featured on the blog.
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