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Kohli, Rahane fifties give India massive lead on day three

Kohli, Rahane fifties give India massive lead on day three
Virat Kohli scored a fluent 83 for India on day three of the fourth Test against South Africa in Delhi.
©REUTERS / Action Images

India 334 & 190-4 (Kohli 83no) v
South Africa 121 (Jadeja 5-30)
Fourth Test, Delhi, day three

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane brought up the first century partnership in the series as they took India's lead to 403 runs with six wickets in hand at stumps on day three of the fourth Test against South Africa in Delhi.

India began their second innings at the start of day three with a lead of 213. South Africa applied pressure right from the start.

In the fifth over of the day Morne Morkel (3-29) produced an unplayable sharp bouncer that struck Murali Vijay (3) on his arm guard and flew to the wicket-keeper, who claimed a catch.

The on-field umpire raised his finger much to Vijay’s disappointment.

India’s decision to promote Rohit Sharma (0) to number three lasted just one delivery as a lovely full length ball from Morkel tailed away slightly and uprooted the off stump leaving the batsman clueless.

India were eight for two at that stage. A 45-run stand between Shikhar Dhawan (21) and Cheteshwar Pujara (28) rebuilt the Indian innings.

The duo played with caution and survived till the lunch as India reached 51 for two. The lead at that point was 264 runs already.

Morkel struck early into the second session by castling Dhawan who failed to deal with a fantastic yorker.

A couple of overs later Imran Tahir (1-49) bowled a quick leg-break that skidded through and beat Pujara’s defences. India were reduced to 57 for four when Rahane (52 not out) came out to bat.

In Tahir’s next over, Kohli (83 not out) attempted to play at a leg-break off the back foot and the wicket-keeper claimed the catch.

Bruce Oxenford once again raised the finger and Kohli made his disappointment clear by standing at the crease for several seconds.

However, the umpire wanted to check for a no-ball and Tahir clearly overstepped, handing a reprieve to the Indian captain.

Rahane brought up the fifty-run stand with a flick past square leg for four runs. Kohli and Rahane ensured India went into tea at 116 for four with a lead of 329.

Kohli began the final session with two consecutive boundaries off Dane Piedt (0-53) and soon brought up his fifty in 70 balls.

Meanwhile, Rahane got himself in and dropped anchor at one end, giving excellent support to his captain.

Kohli swept Piedt away to the square leg fence and brought up the first hundred-run partnership in the series.

With the light fading away, Rahane calmly went past his own fifty off 146 deliveries.

Just after South Africa opted for the second new ball, the umpires called off the play owing to poor light.

India scored 190 runs for the loss of four wickets in the 81 overs that were bowled in the day taking their lead to 403 runs with six wickets in hand.

Morkel looked the best bowler on display with three wickets while Tahir managed to pick one.

With two more days left in the game, South Africa find themselves in a daunting situation yet again to avoid a 3-0 defeat in the series.

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