Team India celebrate Aiden Markram's dismissal © AFP
Team India celebrate Aiden Markram’s dismissal © AFP

South Africa consolidate to reach 182 for 2 at tea on Day One of the second Test versus India  at Centurion. Resuming with the openers set, Ravichandran Ashwin stood out with twin strikes but India still have a long way to go. Following Aiden Markram’s departure (94), Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers have gone ahead with the momentum. Meanwhile, India are struggling to maintain their lengths for long.

Elgar and Markram commenced from 78 for no loss. Ashwin got rid of Elgar soon. The left-hander jumped out of the crease, and Ashwin cleverly shortened the length. Elgar punched one firmly but it hit Murali Vijay’s chest at forward short leg. Despite a few fumbles, Vijay caught hold off the catch. Elgar walked off for 31.

Markram was joined in by Amla, and the duo went along at a brisk rate. Indian bowlers shortened their lengths and gave away boundaries at regular intervals. The bowlers paid the price for being erratic, and need to be more accurate to curb the run-makers: de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock. Ashwin, so far, has got maximum purchase from the bounce. Ishant, on the other hand, remains economical but unlucky.

Against the run of play, Markram lost his concentration in the nervous nineties. An edge, off Ashwin, triggered his long walk back to the hut. The local boy missed a deserving century, falling short by six runs. He was brilliant with his stroke play — timing his shots and playing freely.

Amla and de Villiers have continued to add runs on the scoreboard. They would look to remain steady in the first hour of last session, and put the (tiring) Indian bowlers on the back foot. Like the first session, India let go of another opportunity in this one. Amla looking to flick almost handed a catch to Parthiv Patel, who dropped a difficult chance.

Alarming signs

Amla, de Villiers and de Kock have fantastic record at Centurion. Amla averages 80.13, de Villiers 63.60 and de Kock has a hundred and two fifties from five outings at SuperSport Park.

Brief scores

South Africa 182 for 2 (Aiden Markram 94, Dean Elgar 31, Hashim Amla 35*; Ravichandran Ashwin 2 for 53) vs India