Cape Town: India test skipper Virat Kohli was an epitome of patience in his well-crafted 79 but South Africa is ahead in the game by bowling out the visitors for 223 on day one of the series-deciding third and final Test here on Tuesday. Reaching 141 for four at tea, India looked good for a 250 plus first innings score before losing six wickets for 82 runs in the final session.

Kohli (79 off 201 balls), back to lead the side after missing the second Test due to a back spasm, worked extremely hard for his first half-century of the series but eventually ran out of partners. Cheteshwar Pujara (43) was the other batter who came with up a substantial contribution.

Lead South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada, playing his 50th Test, was the standout bowler of the day and ended with four wickets for 73 runs in 22 overs. Tall left-arm pacer Marco Jansen picked up three wickets.

India got the important wicket of South African skipper Dean Elgar (3) towards close of play with Jasprit Bumrah getting him caught at first slip. At stumps, the hosts were 17 for one in eight overs with Aiden Markram (8) and night watchman Keshav Maharaj (6) in the middle.

Earlier, Rabada and Kohli were engaged in a fascinating battle throughout the day before the South African removed the opposition captain who was looking for boundaries towards the end of the innings. The hallmark of Kohli’s special knock was how he dealt with balls in the off-stump channel, something he had struggled with heading into the series-decider.

South Africa were 17 for one at stumps in reply to India’s first innings total of 223 all out on the opening day of the series-deciding third Test here on Tuesday. Opener Aiden Markram and night-watchman Keshav Maharaj were batting on 8 and 6, respectively, at the close of play. Jasprit Bumrah dismissed the home team skipper Dean Elgar (3) cheaply after the Indian innings ended in 77.3 overs


Inputs from PTI