South Africa bat, Ngidi makes Test debut

Annette Crawford
January 14, 2018

Two run-outs and the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin gave India the edge on the first day of the second Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park on Saturday.

Cruising at 246/3, the Proteas then wobbled with two suicidal runouts plaguing what had been an impressive day at the office up until then.

Playing in his first overseas Test tour, the Mumbai-born man explained that his experience in the first Test had been a big learning curve. India 4/0, trail South Africa (335) by 331 runs.

Considering the session as good for India, Ashwin said that the wickets in the last session will help the bowlers tomorrow.

To perform in South Africa, though, was even more satisfying.

Heading into the match tomorrow, South Africa will aim to wrap the three-match Test series. Markram's wicket came against the run of play.

Lungi Ngidi became 99th played to earn a Test cap for South Africa in the post-isolation era.

Having taken a while to get going with Dean Elgar at the top of the innings, Markram began to find his touch in the last half-hour of the first session. Pandya, though, reached the ball quickly and pulled off a turn and and direct hit that would have made some of the best fielders in the world to sit up and take notice. "I think Days II and III will be very good for batting". Ashwin wrapped up the innings by getting Morkel to sky one to Murali Vijay as South Africa's innings ended on 335.

"It was a reality check in terms of not being able to win a test match for the country on day five when all things were actually set up for a spinner", he said of the Wanderers test.

He is one of the only three Indian batsmen in global cricket who have got hundreds across all formats-the other two being Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma.

The opening 85-run stand was followed by 63- (Markram-Amla), 51- (Amla-AB de Villiers) and 47-run (Amla-du Plessis) partnerships.

India finally found their breakthrough thanks to Ishant Sharma, who had Rabada pulling in the air. Despite Bhuvneshwar impressing with the ball - he was dropped by Kohli in favour of Ishant.

On the back foot after fending off a Pandya short ball comfortably, Amla hesitated after captain Faf du Plessis (24*) called him for a single. Quinton too didn't bother the scorers as he was out cutting Ashwin straight to Kohli at first slip. Soon after, he had du Plessis out bowled with a full one.

After struggling to flick another shorter delivery from Pandya, Vernon Philander stupidly chose to "steal" a single as the ball lobbed up.

Contrary to expectations, the Newlands track had nothing for fast bowlers on Day 1 as Mohammed Shami and Co struggled against the South African batsmen, who relished the batsman-friendly conditions before losing wickets in a hurry in the final session on Saturday.

It left both batsmen at the same end, and India were gifted the easiest of comebacks.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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