Virat Kohli (L) and Mohammed Shami © AFP
Virat Kohli (L) and Mohammed Shami © AFP

South Africa stretched the lead to 201 on Day Four of the second Test versus India at Centurion. Mohammed Shami put India back in the contest courtesy his spirited bowling. Nonetheless, Faf du Plessis remains a threat for the visitors. AB de Villiers’ dismissal changed the complexion of the Test, but South Africa are still ahead.

De Villiers became the first wicket of the day. He did everything what was asked of him. He looked positive, kept the scoreboard moving and shied away from edging anything offered outside off. Nonetheless, some extra bounce, close to the body — something Kohli had been asking for long — found a thick edge off ABD’s bat. He walked off with an impressive 80.

Elgar followed suit. The left-hander fought hard for his 61, before failing to keep a pull shot down. Shami resorted to the short ball and invited the stroke from Elgar’s blade. Elgar found the deep square-leg fielder. India were back in the hunt.

Du Plessis was joined by Quinton de Kock. On the verge of a king pair, de Kock took on Shami. He flashed and flashed hard to get off the mark. Rohit Sharma, at second slip, gave an attempt, but the ball flew past him. Shami dropped a similar delivery and made the batsman play. De Kock tried to close the face of the bat and got another lucky boundary. The third consecutive nick, on a length ball, again resulted in a boundary. However, the left-hander ran out of luck on his fourth edge.

Since then, du Plessis and Vernon Philander surged the lead past 200. Faf, in particular, was loud in his calls after the latter’s run-out in the previous innings.

India need to take wickets in bunch to restrict South Africa below 250-270. Ravichandran Ashwin has put a lid on the scoring, and should trouble the lower order.

Brief scores

South Africa 335 and 173 for 5 (Dean Elgar 61, AB de Villiers 80; Mohammed Shami 3 for 38, Jasprit Bumrah 2 for 47) lead India 307 (Murali Vijay 46, Virat Kohli 153, Ravichandran Ashwin 38; Morne Morkel 4 for 60, Vernon Philander 1 for 46) by 201 runs.