By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Dec 19, 2013
South Africa have gone into lunch on Day Two of the first Test against India at 22 for no loss. India started the second day on 255 for five before Vernon Philander snared quick wickets to help the hosts bowl the tourists out for 280. Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen remained unbeaten when lunch was taken and South Africa are still 258 runs behind.
Ajinkya Rahane and MS Dhoni were circumspect early on and were watching the ball when India resumed the day. There was a bit of moisture in the air as it had rained a bit in Johannesburg. Rahane got things going with a push through the covers for four and that was his only scoring shot of the day. However, it was a battle of attrition thereafter. Dhoni and Rahane were content in blocking and seeing it through.
Morne Morkel was getting the ball to climb and he had Dhoni for 19 as he edged one outside the off-stump. Rahane soon followed as he poked at one outside the off-stump from Vernon Philander. Zaheer Khan was trapped plumb in front by Philander off the first ball and the South African was now on a hat-trick. Ishant Sharma, however, played it with control.
Ravichandran Ashwin essayed a few confident strokes and extended India’s charge from 264 to 280.
Smith was troubled early by Zaheer. He was hit on the pads off the second ball of innings, but the impact was outside the line. Zaheer kept moving it away from Petersen as well and gave both batsmen a few nervous moments. Smith inside edged one on his knee and need the physio’s attention. Petersen then got into his stride with a few good strokes. The one that stood out was a pull through square for four off Zaheer.
India 280 (Kohli 119, Ajinkya Rahane 47; Vernon Philander 4 for 61, Morne Morkel 3 for 34) lead South Africa 22 for no loss (Graeme Smith 10*, Alviro Petersen 11*) by 258 runs.
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