Cheteshar Pujara was tested early by the South African attack © AFP
Cheteshar Pujara was tested early by the South African attack © AFP

By Nishad Pai Vaidya


Dec 20, 2013


India went into lunch on Day Three of the first Test against South Africa at 31 for one. Earlier in the day, Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma ensured South Africa were bowled out for 244, which gave India a 36-run lead. Shikhar Dhawan is the only Indian wicket to fall in the session as he was dismissed for 15.


South Africa resumed Day Three at 213 for six with Vernon Philander on song. He got things going with a few boundaries first up and was intent on making the most of the opportunities. Zaheer then had him poking at one outside the off stump and Ravichandran Ashwin took the catch at first-slip. India breathed a huge sigh of relief as Philander headed back for a fighting knock of 59.




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Later, Steyn was surprised with a short one that climbed and he edged it to Rohit at second slip. Du Plessis edged one off Zaheer to Dhoni as South Africa slipped further. Ultimately, Zaheer finished the innings by bowling Morne Morkel. He finished with figures of four for 88 and Ishant recorded four for 79.


India started their second innings in confident fashion with the Dhawan getting a few early boundaries. Even Murali Vijay got things going with a graceful drive down the ground. The pitch looked a lot better as the Indian openers were not tested too many times.


However, Philander started getting movement and setup Dhawan. After he let a few go through to the wicketkeeper, Dhawan was made to play at one around the off-stump and he was caught in the slips for 15. Cheteshwar Pujara walked in and Philander tested him early. There were a few that shaped past his bat and when one did get the edge, it did not carry to Jacques Kallis at second slip. South Africa suffered a big blow just before lunch as Morkel hurt his leg while fielding. His leg got stuck in the ground and he looked in considerable pain as came crashing down.


At lunch, India are 67 runs ahead.


Brief scores:


India 280 (Virat Kohli 119, Ajinkya Rahane 47; Vernon Philander 4 for 61, Morne Morkel 3 for 34) and 31 for 1 (Shikhar Dhawan 15, Murali Vijay12*, Cheteshwar Pujara 4*; Vernon Philander 1 for 18) lead South Africa  244 (Graeme Smith 68, Vernon Philander 59; Zaheer Khan 4 for 88, Ishant Sharma 4 for 79, Mohammed Shami 2 for 48) by 67 runs.


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