By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Dec 28, 2013
It was a session where India hit back with three strikes, before a solid partnership got South Africa back on track. At lunch on Day Three of the second Test, South Africa are 181 for three in reply to India’s 334.
India started the day under pressure as South Africa resumed on 82 for no loss. Early in the day, Alviro Petersen got to his fifty by smashing the first ball bowled by Ravindra Jadeja. While, both batsmen tried to build on the stand that had exceeded a hundred, it was Jadeja who continued to trouble the batsmen.
On one occasion, Petersen tried to defend one off the front-foot, but the ball left him. Mahendra Singh Dhoni whipped the bails off in no time and appealed. The replays suggested that Petersen was on the line, although it wasn’t all that clear. The third umpire took different angles into consideration and decided in favour of Petersen. But, success wasn’t too far away for Jadeja.
Graeme Smith charged at Jadeja and the ball hit high on the bat and went in the air on the leg-side. Shikhar Dhawan ran back and took a magnificent diving catch to send Smith back to the pavillion. Soon after, Amla was bowled for three by Mohammed Shami as the ball shaped a little away from him and hit the off-stump. This is Amla’s homeground, but he hasn’t had a good innings here. On this occasion, he was rooted to the crease and it was quite unlike Amla as he is normally behind the line of deliveries well.
Then, Jadeja finally had Petersen as he edged one and was caught by Murali Vijay at first slip. It died on Vijay, but he took a good low catch. Petersen took Vijay’s call and left the ground.
Meanwhile, Jacques Kallis walked out to bat to a standing ovation. The Indian team formed a guard of honour and as Kallis strode out, he shook Dhoni’s hands and thanked him for the gesture. Soon, he was in business and South Africa needed another rescue-act in tandem with AB de Villiers. Both batsmen then stitched together an inspired partnership.
They were driving well and countered Jadeja with the passage of time. De Villiers in particular was on song and took the attack to India. He started piercing the gap through the off-side to Jadeja. But, Kallis dancing down the track and smashing Jadeja over his head was something the crowd cheered wholeheartedly.
By the time of lunch was taken, South Africa had recovered and moved to 181 for three.
India 334 (Murali Vijay 97, Cheteshwar Pujara 70, Virat Kohli 46, Ajinya Rahane 51*; Dale Steyn 6 for 100, Morne Morkel 3 for 50) lead South Africa 181 for 3 (Graeme Smith 47, Alviro Petersen 62; Ravindra Jadeja 2 for 52) by 153 runs.
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