Cape Town – The first Test between the Proteas and India at
Newlands is moving along at a rapid rate, and at tea the hosts were 230/7 on
LIVE: Proteas v India - First Test, Day 1
South Africa would have felt a lot better about life at
lunch following an early wobble that had seen them reduced to 12/3 after
winning the toss, with AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis having stabilised
But four more wickets in the middle session has given India
the edge so far, despite Du Plessis having won the toss at the start of the day.
As the second session got underway, South Africa had
recovered to 107/3 and it initially looked like it would be a long afternoon
for the visitors with both batsmen settled.
Debutant Jasprit Bumrah, though, brought the Proteas
crashing back down to earth and his first Test wicket will be one that he
remembers for a long time.
The delivery was full, and De Villiers went on the drive,
but this wicket will always have something in it for the quicks and the ball
nipped back to castle South Africa’s trump card for 65.
Du Plessis (62) didn’t last much longer.
Having survived an LBW review that looked dead to the naked
eye, the skipper was out just two balls later when he played a loose shot to a
Hardik Pandya delivery as Wriddhiman Saha took a neat catch behind the stumps.
The celebration from Virat Kohli that followed was animated
to say the least, and it resulted in umpire Richard Kettleborough having a word
with the Indian captain.
South Africa had needed one of De Villiers or Du Plessis –
or both, preferably – to go big, but at 142/5 it was advantage India once more.
Quinton de Kock and Vernon Philander then set about putting
this right, and the one positive from a South African perspective was that the
scoring rate remained impressive.
De Kock raced to 25 off just 19 as India’s bowlers continued
to go full in the hope of finding the edge, while Philander also drove
fearlessly in his endeavour to put his hand up at No 7.
The pair reached a much-needed 50 partnership in just 39
balls – De Kock contributing 31 and Philander 19.
The fact that spin in the form of Ravichandran Ashwin was
only introduced in the 42nd over says a lot about how much the
wicket was offering the pace bowlers.
South Africa brought up their 200 in the 45th
over, but just as it looked like they had wrestled back the momentum, De Kock
was on his way.
The Proteas ‘keeper became Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fourth victim
of the day when he tickled a delivery through to Saha behind the stumps.
De Kock was out for 43 off 40 and the Proteas had lost all
of their top six.
Philander followed for 23 when he was bowled by Mohammed
Shami, meaning that all four Indian seamers had struck.
At tea, Keshav Maharaj (23*) was still hanging around
despite being dropped by Shikhar Dhawan at third slip while Kagiso Rabada (1*)
was at the other end.
The morning session had seen a superb spell of fast bowling
from Kumar leave South Africa struggling.
Kumar took three wickets in as many overs to leave the
Proteas on 12/3 before De Villiers and Du Plessis led the fightback.