By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Dec 27, 2013
South Africa have hit back on Day Two of the second Test against India at Durban. Dale Steyn rocked the Indian batting as he snared three wickets in no time early on. India did manage to recover and end the afternoon session on 271 for five.
The whole morning session was lost due to rain and a wet outfield and early lunch was taken. However, by 12:40 local time, the sun had come out and the outfield was ready. Resuming on 181 for one, India were in great touch and wanted to extend their domination. But, little did they know that they would run into Steyn.
Steyn troubled Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay as a few edges flew through the slips. He kept varying his length and kept them in check. Vijay had moved to 96 and the ton was in sight. Pujara was looking solid and was weathering the Steyn storm.
Later, Steyn just pitched one in Pujara’s half and had it moving away a little. Pujara was drawn into the shot and the edge went through to the wicket-keeper as South Africa celebrated early success. Kohli walked in to face the music and looked resolute and balanced.
Vijay then faced Steyn on 97 and one climbed on him as it went down the leg side. It took the edge and AB de Villiers took the catch. Steyn celebrated as he was breathing fire and working some serious pace. Out came Rohit Sharma and he needed some runs to get back into his groove. Instead, he let go the first ball he faced and it crashed into the stumps. Suddenly, India were 199 for four.
That is when Ajinkya Rahane joined Kohli and in tandem, they set off on a mission to rescue India. Both batsmen were very cautious early on and saw off Steyn’s fiery spell. As they saw off a few overs, they got into good rhythm. Some of the highlights were the straight drives they essayed off Steyn and also pulled him for boundaries. Those shots would have given them tremendous confidence. Rahane needed it more than Kohli as he was hit on the head once and then on the shoulders.
The duo put up 50 to help India get to a much better position. As Kohli was moving towards his own personal fifty, he flicked one from Morkel down the leg-side and into de Villiers’s gloves.
India 271 for 5 (Murali Vijay 97, Cheteshwar Pujara 70, Virat Kohli 46; Dale Steyn 3 for 87, Morne Morkel 2 for 33) vs South Africa.
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