South Africa 269-6 (Markram 94) v India
Second Test, Centurion, day one
After Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla scored 94 and 82 runs respectively, India made a strong comeback with four wickets in the final session to restrict South Africa to 269 for six at stumps on day one of the second Test in Centurion.
South Africa won the toss and decided to bat first. Lungisani Ngidi made his Test debut in the place of injured Dale Steyn for South Africa while India got Ishant Sharma and Parthiv Patel in the place of Wriddhiman Saha and Bhuvneshwar Kumar respectively.
South Africa keep Indian attack at bay on dull Centurion pitch in the first session:
After the first two overs ending in a maiden, Markram (94) struck a couple of boundaries in the fourth over to kick the proceedings but the introduction of Ishant (1-32) helped India tighten the grip. Mohammad Shami (0-46) struggled to find their rhythm as Markram hit him for two more boundaries in the 11th over and the first hour ended with Proteas managing 36 runs from 14 overs. In the 21st over, Dean Elgar (31) was handed a reprieve when Murali Vijay misjudged a catch at the deep backward square leg that went for a boundary and in the same over, Markram smashed two more fours to bring the 50-run opening stand.
In the 24th over, Elgar survived a review from India for a caught behind as the bat had hit the pad but Markram looked extremely confident as he reached his second half-century with two more fours. South Africa went into lunch with a score of 78 for naught in 27 overs.
Elgar falls but Amla, Markram press on
India finally managed to get a breakthrough in the third over after the break and it came from the off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (3-90), who had Elgar caught at silly point and despite starting the innings with caution, Amla (82) slowly settled in. The duo added another 63 runs for the second wicket as the ball did hardly anything for the Indian bowlers. As the Proteas were running away with the game, it was Ashwin once again, who brought them back into the game when Markram edged one to the keeper, missing out on a deserving century. He used a review but the hotspot clearly showed an edge.
Amla was handed a reprieve when Parthiv dropped him down the leg side but he and AB de Villiers (20) did well to ensure they did not lose any more wickets to end the session with a score of 182 for two. During the session, Shami left the field due to a mild headache but was declared alright later on.
India make strong comeback in a chaos filled third session
Both Amla and de Villiers brought their 50-run stand in the sixth over of the final session but soon things started to slip for the home side. It all started when de Villiers chopped an Ishant delivery on to the stumps and despite a confident Amla completing his half-century, a lapse in concentration saw him run-out swiftly by Hardik Pandya (0-37), who collected the ball and hit the stumps direct at the non-striker's end. Ashwin returned back into the attack to have Quinton de Kock (0) caught in the slip while Vernon Philander (0) had himself run out to leave the Proteas reeling at 251 for six.
Faf du Plessis (24 not out) and Keshav Maharaj (10 not out) helped them arrest the slide as they battled the final seven overs scoring 18 runs in it as they finished the day with a score of 269 for six.
Ashwin was the pick of the Indian bowlers with three wickets to his name while Ishant had one.
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