Tea report: Pandya blasts India back into 1st Test

2018-01-06 15:10
Dale Steyn (Gallo)

Cape Town – The Proteas ripped through India after lunch on day two of the first Test at Newlands on Saturday, picking up three quick wickets, but then Hardik Pandya happened.

The Indian allrounder blasted his way to 81* off just 68 balls, leaving the visitors on 185/7 at tea, just 101 runs behind South Africa’s first innings total of 258.

SCOREBOARD: Proteas v India - 1st test, Day 2

Pandya, who was dropped on 15 and then survived a stumping scare once had had past 50, had shared a ??-run partnership with Bhavneshwar Kumar (24*) for the eighth wicket by the end of the second session.

Vernon Philander, who had gone for just one run in six overs in the first session, got his reward with the very first ball after lunch when he had Cheteshwar Pujara (26) out to a classy catch from Faf du Plessis at second slip.

Pujara had shown immense concentration to get through the first session, but when he was gone India were in deep trouble at 76/5.

In the very next over, Dale Steyn had Pandya given out caught behind only for a review to show that the ball clipped his back leg instead.

Philander then removed Ravichandran Ashwin (12) after the Indian off-spinner nicked one to Quinton de Kock, bringing an end to a poor innings that saw him play and miss countless times.

Steyn, somewhat surprisingly, kept bowling and he got his reward for some good areas in his 14th over.

Dean Elgar dropped Pandya on 15 with a sharp chance in the slips, but Steyn was celebrating with his very next ball when Wriddhiman Saha was rapped on the pads not offering a shot.

The Indian wicketkeeper reviewed after he had been given out by umpire Michael Gough, but the ball was crashing into the stumps.

It was Steyn’s 419th Test scalp, and he now needs just three more to overtake Shaun Pollock as his country’s all-time leading wicket-taker in the format.

Pandya then decided to be proactive rather than reactive to the Proteas seamers and with each crashing boundary that Elgar drop hurt more and more.

Pandya blasted 10 boundaries on his way to a 45-ball half-century, and he brought up the milestone by slapping Morne Morkel over mid-off.

At the other end, Kumar was frustrating the attack, playing and missing regular. Kumar took 34 balls to get his first run as the partnership for the eighth wicket grew.

Du Plessis turned to spin after 55 overs to try and get a breakthrough, and there was action immediately.

Pandya rose to the challenge, taking Keshav Maharaj on and clearing the ropes, but the very next ball South Africa let another chance go.

Pandya came dancing down the wicket, looking to clear the ropes once more, but Maharaj beat him only for De Kock to fumble and miss the stumping chance.

There was a moment of concern for the Proteas as Steyn left the field just before tea, unable to complete his 18th over. 

Read more on:    india  |  proteas  |  cape town  |  cricket


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