Namaste! Welcome to CricketCountry’s live coverage of the third day’s play between India and South Africa, in the third of their four-Test series at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur. I am Suvajit Mustafi, and I will bring you the updates on this cricket blog. India leading the four-Test series 1-0, are now well placed to seal the third Test at Nagpur. This might be the final day of the Test. Second Day was eventful to say the least, South Africa were bowled out for 79 in the first innings — their lowest total since readmission and it was the lowest total in Test cricket registered against India. Now, South Africa are chasing 310 to win, are 32 for 2. It won’t be easy for them to get the remaining 278 in the fourth innings and that too on a pitch that is turning square. The Indian spinners hold the key with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja having their tails up. Having said that, South Africa are the No.1 Test side and with AB de Villiers still to come, one can’t write them off. It promises to be an exciting day. Catch all the updates here. Live Cricket Scorecard: India vs South Africa 2015, 1st Test at Mohali


This is the first time South Africa has lost a Test series outside their country since their 2-0 defeat in Sri Lanka in 2006. This also happens to be the first Test in India where no batsman has scored 50+. Murali Vijay’s 40 is the highest score in the game. South African skipper Amla graciously accepts the defeat as he says, “The big thing for me is whether you win or lose, you do it as honourably as you can.”

Indian skipper Kohli appreciates the Nagpur crowd and says, “It is very pleasing indeed and SA are a tough side to beat. The guys have shown character.”

No surprises for the Man-of-the-Match, it’s Ravichandran Ashwin. Ashwin now has 169 wickets in 31 Tests and it’s the most by a spinner after playing this many games. He goes past Clarrie Grimmett’s tally of 164 wickets. The figures of 7/66 is Ashwin’s best in First-Class cricket as well. He picks 12 wickets in the match.

Here’s the winning moment:


Live Cricket Score: South Africa 185 all out | Over 88| Target 310 | Simon Harmer 8(24)| That’s it! Ashwin’s drifter comes back in to Morkel and sneaks between the gap of bat and pad. Morkel is bowled, Ashwin picks up his 7th These (7/66) are his best figures in Test cricket. India win the series and South Africa have lost an away series for the first time in 9 long years. India go up 2-0.  This is the first ever Test in India where no batsmen from either sides have scored a half century. Read Pramod Ananth’s match report

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 177/9 | Over 88| Target 310 | Simon Harmer 4(19), Morne Morkel 0(2)| And Ashwin gets his sixth. Nice tossed up ball to Rabada which turns sharply, takes the outside edge straight to Virat Kohli at second slip. India a wicket away from victory. OUT! K Rabada c Virat Kohli b Ravichandran Ashwin 6 (17)

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 176/8 | Over 87| Target 310 | Simon Harmer 3(17), Kagiso Rabada 6(15)| Mishra is into the attack. India are two wickets away from a series win. Ashwin is now the highest wicket-taker in 2015. He has 53 wickets to his name and has gone past Stuart Broad’s tally of 51.

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 167/8 | Over 82| Target 310 | It’s Ashwin from the other end with the new ball and guess what? He strikes with the first ball. Duminy is dismissed and it’s his 4th wicket. Duminy leaves the ball thinking it will turn but that one goes with the arm and he is caught in front of middle and off. Umpire gets it right as South Africa struggle further. OUT! JP Duminy lbw b Ravichandran Ashwin 19 (44)

Ashwin now strikes with the last ball of the over. Pitches in stumps, spins towards leg, brushes Dane Vilas’ gloves and Saha takes a smart catch. That’s fifth wicket for Ashwin and another disappointing out for Vilas. OUT! Dane Vilas c Wriddhiman Saha b Ravichandran Ashwin 12 (16)

Wicketkeeper’s club: Ian Gould, who was a wicketkeeper in his playing days, appreciates Saha’s catch and co-incidentally, it was the catch of South African wicketkeeper Dane Vilas.

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 164/6 | Over 81| Target 310 | JP Duminy 19(43), Dane Vilas 10(13)| Quite surprising that Ishant is taken off the attack while the new ball has been taken. It’s Jadeja who will be bowling with it. Huge appeal for leg before in the first ball and not given. It was a close call and might have clipped the stumps.

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 151/6 | Over 78| Target 310 | JP Duminy 16(28), Dane Vilas 7(10)| Another two overs and the new ball will be due. Will India take it? It’s an interesting decision that they will have to make. But maybe they will and that’s why Ishant is bowling. No team in this series has batted this far. Mishra’s last ball is a short one and Vilas pulls it through mid-wicket for a boundary.

Ishant Sharma to start the proceedings for India after TEA. Meanwhile, in Australia, another pacer Peter Siddle has picked up his 200th Test wicket. Check out the blog for that match.


Live Cricket Score: South Africa 151/6 | Over 76| Target 310 | JP Duminy 15(19), Dane Vilas 2(7)| Another eventful session comes to an end. It’s TEA. Just when it seemed that Amla and du Plessis were saving it for South Africa, Mishra struck. The entire series has gone more of Ashwin and Jadeja way but has’t Mishra contributed with the most important wickets at crucial junctures. He now has 3 wickets to his name. Good stuff. The next session may be the last one of the match but the Duminy hurdle will not be an easy one. Once again he’s looking good. Here’s Mishra’s two late strikes at the stroke of TEA.

Also read Pramod Ananth’s TEA report

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 135/6 | Over 72| Target 310 | JP Duminy 1(1), Dane Vilas 0(1)| Mishra has struck another one here! Big wicket of du Plessis. He too departs for 39. Goes for the pull to a shortish ball, Faf tries to pull it but the ball keeps low and thuds to the stumps. South Africa in deep trouble. OUT! Faf du Plessis b Amit Mishra 39 (152)

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 130/5 | Over 70| Target 310 | Faf du Plessis 35(142), JP Duminy 0(0)| That’s the end of Amla’s monk-like resistance. Like a true sportsman, Amla once again walks not waiting for the umpire’s decision. Mishra is rewarded for some good bowling. He tosses that up, Amla comes forward, it takes  the edge of the upper half of the bat. It’s straight to Virat Kohli at gully. OUT! Hashim Amla c Virat Kohli b Amit Mishra 39 (167) Amit Mishra is turning it huge. Check this out:

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 127/4 | Over 65 | Target 310 | Hashim Amla 38(154), Faf du Plessis 33(125)|  It’s Ishant Sharma into the attack. He is getting the ball to move in sharply. The second ball thuds to Amla’s front pad and is followed by a massive appeal from the Indians. It swings in sharply and perhaps going down the leg-stump.

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 123/4 | Over 62 | Target 310 | Hashim Amla 37(140), Faf du Plessis 30(121)|  Mishra to bowl and he is turning it big and beating du Plessis almost every ball. This is a test of patience for the Indian bowlers. All they have to do is keep doing what they are. This is some good resistance from the Proteas batsman.

Meanwhile, Australia have dominated the proceedings in the first-ever day and night Test. New Zealand are struggling at 143/6. Check out the blog for that match.

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 119/4 | Over 57 | Target 310 | Hashim Amla 35(129), Faf du Plessis 29(102)|  In the previous over, Amla gets beaten by a beauty from Jadeja, it goes past his outside edge to Saha. There was a huge appeal but umpire doesn’t think it’s out. Another good decision from the umpire in this game. They have surely have had a good game in a wicket where appeals were plenty. One run from the Ashwin over.

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 116/4 | Over 52 | Target 310 | Hashim Amla 34(114), Faf du Plessis 28(87)| An fan in his tweet puts its aptly that ‘Amla is like a saint meditating in a battlefield.’ True, seems these two batsmen have learned from their mistakes. India still in a commanding position as Jadeja gets the first ball of the 52nd over to turn square. Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar in his comments defends the pitch:


Live Cricket Score: South Africa 109/4 | Over 47 | Target 310 |  Mishra to bowl from the other end. Bowls a poor full toss and Amla places that through mid-wicket for a boundary. That brings the 50 partnership. A huge achievement in context of this game.

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 105/4 | Over 46 | Target 310 | Hashim Amla 27(80), Faf du Plessis 21(61)| Play resumes after LUNCH and it’s Ashwin who starts with du Plessis on strike. A huge appeal off the fourth ball but impact was maybe a bit outside off-stump. Good over from Ashwin.


Live Cricket Score: South Africa 105/4 | Over 45 | Target 310 | Hashim Amla 27(80), Faf du Plessis 21(55)| Jadeja to bowl the last over before lunch. Du Plessis flicks the last ball for a single and it’s LUNCH on Day 3. South Africa have lost two wickets but recovered well. They still need 206 to win. It’s a huge task on front but not impossible.

India will be happy with the first session as they removed the danger man AB de Villiers but Amla and du Plessis have added a crucial 47. Read Pramod Ananth’s lunch report here.

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 102/4 | Over 41 | Target 310 | Hashim Amla 27(80), Faf du Plessis 21(55)| Jadeja replaces Ishant in the attack and du Plessis hoists him over long-on for a six. 100 comes up for South Africa.

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 90/4 | Over 39 | Target 310 | Hashim Amla 26(76), Faf du Plessis 10(46)| India continuing with Ishant. Perhaps they should attack more with spin. South Africa are steadily building a partnership. Patience and building partnerships are keys to these kind of wickets and we have seen Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay benefitting from the same.

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 85/4 | Over 34 | Target 310 | Hashim Amla 24(68), Faf du Plessis 9(22)| Du Plessis edges one in the last over and it just goes past Wriddhiman Saha for a boundary.In the 34th over, Mishra’s leg spin induces an edge and Rahane at first slip almost pouches it.Is that dropped? No, maybe just short.

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 78/4 | Over 32 | Target 310 | Hashim Amla 22(62), Faf du Plessis 5(16)| It’s the first over after the drinks break and it will be the leg spin of Amit Mishra.7 runs comes from the over. Amla is looking good. From the other end, he brings in Ishant Sharma and he concedes a run off the first ball. South Africa at 79 equal their first innings total.

Champion vs Champion: This is how Ashwin set-up AB de Villiers. Classic stuff and must watch.

 

Amla’s India tour has disappointing to say the least. Starting from the last, his score sequence goes: 7, 0, 43, 1, 23, 7, 5, 17, 37, 2 and 36. Can he get a big one here?

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 69/4 | Over 28 | Target 310 | Hashim Amla 13(45), Faf du Plessis 5(9)| Amla drives the third ball beautifully through the cover region for a boundary. Amla is gaining confidence and is getting his timing right. It’s been a horrendous series for him so far.

Meanwhile, at the other side of the world, in Adelaide, Australia, the first ever day and night Test got underway. New Zealand are batting first in the historic Test. You can follow Shiamak Unwalla’s blog for the Test here

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 60/4 | Over 24 | Target 310 | Hashim Amla 7(28), Faf du Plessis 2(2)| Third ball of the over, AB comes down the wicket and Ashwin fires that to the leg stump which the batsman manages to stop with his pad. Now he strikes with his fourth ball. BIG WICKET! AB de Villiers is caught plumb in front. That seemed like a carrom ball and AB doesn’t pick it. OUT! AB de Villiers lbw b Ravichandran Ashwin 9 (21) 

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 53/3 | Over 22 | Target 310 | Hashim Amla 7(24), AB de Villiers 6(9)| AB de Villiers, who chipped Jadeja for a boundary in the previous over is living dangerously. He isn’t finding it comfortable at all against Ashwin, who continues to get massive turn from the surface.

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 40/3 | Over 18 | Target 310 | Hashim Amla 3(14), AB de Villiers 0(1)| Elgar smashes the second ball of the over for a six over mid-wicket but Ashwin strikes back with the fifth ball. Elgar gets a thick inside edge to the pad as it carries to the silly point. Aswhin strikes early. Not the start South Africa wanted. OUT! Dean Elgar c Cheteshwar Pujara b Ravichandran Ashwin 18 (58)

Live Cricket Score: South Africa 32/2 | Over 15 | Target 310 | BATSMEN: Dean Elgar 10(42), Hashim Amla 3(13)| Ishant Sharma starts off the day for India and bowls a maiden. Hashim Amla is looking much more confident against pace. Let’s see how he negotiates the spin trio. We will soon find out.


Teams: India: Virat Kohli (c), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma.

South Africa: Hashim Amla (c), Dane Vilas (wk), Stiaan van Zyl, Dean Elgar, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, Simon Harmer, Kagiso Rabada. Catch the live cricket scorecard and ball-by-ball commentary of India vs South Africa 3rd Test at Nagpur, Day 3