Johannesburg – There was drama aplenty in the second session
of the third Test between the Proteas and India, with the Decision Review
System (DRS) prominent as India bowled their way back into the contest.
At tea, South Africa were 143/6, still 44 runs behind, with Hashim Amla (54*) at the crease
having been at the centre of the DRS mayhem.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/34) and Jasprit Bumrah (2/37) were
superb, maximising the conditions that are still making batting seem impossible
Amla, though, was up for the fight and he brought up his 37th Test half-century in 98 balls. With the rest of South Africa’s top order failing, Amla’s
knock has kept the hosts in the game.
Having resumed after lunch at 81/3, the Proteas had AB de Villiers
and Amla at the wicket after Kagiso Rabada (30) had played a potentially
game-changing night-watchman’s knock.
The first issue involving DRS happened shortly after the
resumption when De Villiers, on 0* at the time, was rapped on the pads by a
vicious in-swinger from Ishant Sharma.
To the naked eye, it looked like it had ducked in far too much
and umpire Aleem Dar agreed. After a brief consultation, the Indians brains
trust decided not to review the decision.
The replays that followed left Kohli livid as three ‘reds’
on the DRS revealed that De Villiers would have been on his way had the
decision been sent upstairs.
It didn’t hurt the visitors too much, though, as De Villiers
was out for just 5 when he was clean bowled by a perfect in-swinger from Kumar.
At the other end, Amla had his fair share of flirtations
with DRS. He had already survived one Indian review in the first session, and
he had two more big scares in the second.
In the 35th over, just before De Villiers was
bowled, Amla was hit on the roll by Kumar and the appeal that followed was a
Umpire Ian Gould decided it was too high, and India went
straight upstairs for the review. An ‘umpire’s call’ showed the ball just
clipping the top of the stumps, as was the case with Amla before lunch, and the
Then, after De Villiers was removed, Amla was given ‘out’
LBW off Kumar when he was on 41, and this time it was his turn to review. The
rub of the green was going Amla’s way, and DRS showed that the ball had struck
him outside the line of off-stump and was missing.
Faf du Plessis (8), who never looked comfortable, was then bowled
leaving an in-ducker from Jasprit Bumrah.
That brought the out-of-form Quinton de Kock to the wicket,
and he too survived an Indian review for LBW off Mohammed Shami that was never
hitting the stumps.
De Kock (8) could not cash in, though, and he became Bumrah’s
second victim when he inside-edged through to Parthiv Patel behind the stumps.
At 125/6, South Africa were still 62 runs behind and India
had the ascendency.
Vernon Philander (13*) joined Amla, and together that pair
was able to get through to tea.