Kohli, daylight, and the rest in Centurion

Leslie Hanson
January 16, 2018

He notably struck three cracking boundaries off South Africa's premier fast bowler, who conceded 40 runs off a seven-over spell and seemed to lack clarity of thought.

South Africa's batting coach Dale Benkenstein told Supersport that at first India didn't want to stay but insisted on carrying on once they saw a couple of balls move.

"We need to create pressure as well, but I do feel the game is still very much in balance at the moment".

The lanky pacer was 22 years 301 days old at that time and became the third youngest Indian to scalp 100 wickets in Tests after Kapil Dev (21 years 25 days) and Harbhajan Singh (21 years 319 days). But Kohli has five Test centuries in Australia, and scores of 119 and 96 on his previous visit to South Africa.

However if there's one constant in the worldwide cricketing world, it's this: No matter what the year, no matter what the format, no matter what the country, no matter what the surface and no matter what the circumstances, Kohli will score runs.

The overnight partnership of de Villiers and Elgar threatened to take the game away from India.

Leading from the front is a well-used cliche, but Kohli's innings of defiance and intent can not be described any other way.

India dropped three catches, all off Ashwin.

Hardik Pandya (15) was run out as he did not drag his bat behind the crease and a throw from Vernon Philander hit the stumps.

Earlier, it all rested on Virat Kohli yet again. "But we don't take any notice". But in Ravichandran Ashwin, Kohli found a batsman who not only hung around, but also played shots as they stitched together a 71-run stand for the seventh wicket.

SA had been rocked earlier by a double strike from Indian seamer Jasprit Bumrah (2/30), who trapped Aiden Markram (1) and Hashim Amla (1) lbw with deliveries that skidded through after keeping low. Resuming his last day's game with 85 on board, Kohli not just completed his 21st test century but also came on par with the rival team's ace batsman AB de Villiers in achieving the feat. We were just having a word with the umpire that the ball was wet. Even a break in play, when an electric storm forced the players off the field, did not break de Villiers' rhythm and he was on an even unbeaten 50 when bad light stopped play. "We wanted to carry on but the things didn't work out so it's okay".

Despite his lamentations about the conditions, Morkel said there was a good chance of South Africa clinching the series.

The highest fourth-innings score at Centurion is 251-8 by England in 2000, although that was in the discredited Test where both teams forfeited innings at the suggestion of South African captain Hansie Cronje.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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