South Africa on top despite Pandya brilliance

India's Hardik Pandya in action on day two of the Cape Town Test
India's Hardik Pandya in action on day two of the Cape Town Test

South Africa 286 & 65-2 (Markram 34) v
India 209 (Pandya 93)
First Test, Cape Town, day two

Hardik Pandya scored 93 runs and picked two wickets as well but it is South Africa, who are on top in the first Test in Cape Town after managing a 142-run lead with eight wickets in hand by stumps on day two.

Philander builds early pressure

India resumed the day with a score of 28 for three. Vernon Philander (3-33) did what he is best at and bowled 33 consecutive dot deliveries to keep the pressure on the Indian batsmen. Rohit Sharma (11) took 18 deliveries to get his first run as he and Cheteshwar Pujara (26) played out 13 overs in the first hour scoring just 17 runs. Kagiso Rabada's (3-34) introduction changed the complexion of the game as his pace pushed the Indian batsmen back and eventually went on to trap Rohit LBW.

Ravichandran Ashwin (12) and Pujara saw the rest of the session without losing any wicket but India managed to add just 48 runs before lunch. Philander's perseverance paid off in the second session as he had Pujara caught in the slip in the first delivery after lunch and soon also had Ashwin dismissed. Pandya (93) used a review to overturn a caught behind the decision but South Africa managed to remove Wriddhiman Saha (0) at the other end to Dale Steyn (2-51) and were reduced to 92 for seven.

Pandya counterattacks South African attack with support from Bhuvneshwar

Just like it looked like India might concede a massive lead to South Africa, Pandya (93), who survived the early burst from Philander began to shift gears. He hit Philander for three boundaries in the 43rd over and struck two more off Morne Morkel (2-57) in the 50th over as Bhuvneshwar Kumar (25) looked solid at the other end. His second Test fifty came off just 46 deliveries and in an eventful 56th over from Keshav Maharaj (0-20), Pandya hit a six and a four that was separated by a stumping chance from Quinton de Kock.

Pandya and Kumar did exceedingly well as India ended the second session with a score of 185 for seven. However, that was after Steyn left the field with a bruised heel and he did not take the field in the final session.

Proteas end the day on top despite Pandya heroics

The 99-run stand finally ended when Morkel had Kumar caught behind and the dismissal did play on Pandya's mindset as he also edged a Rabada delivery to the keeper. India were eventually bowled out for 209 runs and despite brilliance from Pandya and Kumar, it was South Africa, who had the final laugh as they had a massive 77 run lead in the first innings.

South Africa started the second innings strong with Aiden Markram (34) and Dean Elgar (25) adding a 52 run opening stand but the introduction of Pandya (2-17) once again provided India with a respite as he removed them both off successive overs. However, Hashim Amla (2 not out) and nightwatchman Rabada (4 not out) ensured South Africa reached 65 for two at stumps, taking their lead to 142 runs.

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