Ind vs SA, 2nd Test, Day 3: Ashwin picks four as South Africa folds for 275

Follow the LIVE score, updates and commentary of the third day's play between India and South Africa from the MCA Stadium in Pune.

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Keshav Maharaj led South Africa's riposte with a fighting fifty.   -  AP

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's coverage of day three of the second Test match between India and South Africa at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune.

 

South Africa's resistance comes to an end. Ashwin finishes with four wickets, trapping Rabada in front to bring the curtains on Proteas' first innings. Keshav Maharaj (72) and Vernon Philander (44*) showed great determination and skill to frustrate India's bowlers on the third day, but a total in excess of 600 meant the host was always going to hold the advantage. However, the 109-run stand for the ninth wicket was the highlight for the visitor. That would be all from our side. Join us tomorrow for all the action from day four. Ciao!

 

SOUTH AFRICA 224/8 | 3:15 PM

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 K Maharaj 33(84), V. Philander 34(133)

Maharaj and Philander have started swinging at a few deliveries. India have taken the new ball and it's started to get a little dark in Pune. Shami has bowled probing lines with the new ball and is unlucky to not have another wicket against his name. He is sharing the new ball with Ishant Sharma. Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin is off the field, nursing what looks like an injured finger. SA need 178 more to avoid follow-on.

SOUTH AFRICA 203/8 | 2:40 PM

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 K Maharaj 26(59), V. Philander 24 (114)

India opting for pace and spin after tea. Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja operating in tandem. The partnership between Philander and Maharaj is nearing fifty. How much longer can they resist?

Our reporter Shayan Acharya  recaps the second session of the day:

Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander's unbeaten 35-run stand guided South Africa to 197-8 at tea on the third day of the second Test against India on Saturday.

After its top batsmen failed -- with the exception of captain Faf du Plessis, who played a knock of 64 before being dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin -- the two tail-enders decided to hang in there and frustrate the Indian pacers on a sunny and humid day.

Resuming the day at 36-3, the Proteas lost two quick wickets in Anrich Nortje and Theunis de Bruyn in quick successions. But then, du Plessis and Quinton de Kock stitched a 75-run stand to put some fight.

However, that was not enough as de Kock was cleaned up by Ravichandran Ashwin for 31.

It being a weekend, a total of 13,255 spectators attended the game.

----------------------END OF SESSION 2, DAY 3------------------ SOUTH AFRICA 197/8 | Philander 23 (111), Maharaj 21 (50)

SOUTH AFRICA 191/8 | 2:00 PM

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 K Maharaj 17(44), V. Philander 21 (99)

Philander and Maharaj dug in, got settled and are now frustrating the Indian bowlers with a nagging ninth wicket stand. Same old tale of the tail wagging defiantly against the Indian bowlers...

SOUTH AFRICA 162/8 | 1:07 PM

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 du Plessis 64(117), V. Philander 13 (50)

OUT! Ravichandran Ashwin has breached South Africa's final line of defence: Du Plessis falls for 64. Just a matter of time before the rest cave?

SOUTH AFRICA 162/7 | 1:01 PM

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 du Plessis 64(114), V. Philander 13 (50)

 

NUMBER CRUNCH: South Africa needs 254 runs to avoid follow-on with three wickets in hand. Unbeaten on 61, Faf du Plessis is the lone man standing for the Proteas.

GONE! Jadeja strikes right after lunch, and Muthusamy has to go. The Protea spinner is adjudged lbw, but he reviews to no avail. South Africa seven down, with a follow-on now looking imminent.

UPDATE: Keshav Maharaj will bat today and the medical team will monitor him for discomfort throughout the remainder of match & make a call on bowling based on that. 

Our reporter Shayan Acharya  recaps the first session of the day:

South Africa was struggling at 136-6 at lunch on the third day of the second Test against India, with captain Faf du Plessis playing an unbeaten knock of 52. Resuming the day at 36-3, the Proteas lost two quick wickets in Anrich Nortje and Theunis de Bruyn.

du Plessis and Quinton de Kock stitched a 75-run stand to put up a fight. However, that was not enough as de Kock was cleaned up by Ravichandran Ashwin for 31.

With none of its top-order batsmen managing to show steel, the visiting side has a mountain to climb. That said, it turned out to be an exciting day for the fans, who turned out in large numbers to cheer for the Indian bowlers. While Umesh Yadav scalped three, Mohammad Shami bagged a couple of wickets to keep the visitor under immense pressure.

LUNCH! SOUTH AFRICA 136/6 | 11:30 AM

 

SOUTH AFRICA 128/6 | 11:19 AM

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 du Plessis 50(64), S. Muthusamy 0(0)

 

FIFTY and a WICKET! Du Plessis brings up yet another fighting fifty, this time with two back-to-back boundaries off Ravindra Jadeja. But Ravichandran Ashwin has cleaned up De Kock to break the nagging stand; just the breakthrough India wanted before lunch.

 

SOUTH AFRICA 88/5 | 10:56 AM

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 du Plessis 20(40), De Kock 21(36)

 

Du Plessis and de Kock have added 35 for the sixth wicket so far. Kohli has introduced Ravi Ashwin into the attack. So a mix of pace and spin for the Proteas. de Kock was lucky he didn't chop one back on to his stumps. Shami offered width and the keeper-batsman tried to scythe it away. But the length wasn't short enough de Kock's under edge just about evaded the off-stump.

DRINKS!

SOUTH AFRICA 71/5 | 10:30 AM

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 du Plessis 15(29), De Kock 9(17)

Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis, two of South Africa's most experienced batsmen are out in the middle. India will be wary of the duo's counter-attacking abilities, as was evident during their respective knocks in the first innings in Visakhapatnam. De Kock scored a fine hundred, and du Plessis resisted the Indian charge with a fifty. The Proteas will be hoping for more of the same this time around.

SOUTH AFRICA 53/5 | 10:04 AM

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 du Plessis 6(10), De Kock 0(0)

 

WICKET! What a catch: well, Kohli did say 'Saha is the best keeper in the world', didn't he? He jumps across to his right and grabs a brilliant catch in front of first slip to get rid of de Bruyn. Umesh Yadav with the breakthrough.

 

SOUTH AFRICA 45/4 | 9:45 AM

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 de Bruyn 24(46), Du Plessis 4(2)

 

GONE! Mohammad Shami has removed night-watchman Nortje courtesy a sharp take by skipper Virat Kohli in the slips. Nortje was undone by the lift on that delivery and got a thick outside edge. South Africa slips further.

Out come the South African batsmen, De Bruyn and Nortje. Mohammed Shami to start proceedings with the ball.

----------------------START OF SESSION 1, DAY 3------------------

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PITCH REPORT| "There is some rough developing, but it shouldn't worry the batsmen a lot. The odd ball will turn and misbehave, but it's still a good batting pitch," feel Sunil Gavasakar and Murali Kartik.

DAY TWO REPORT

ill July 2016, Virat Kohli did not have a single double century in Test cricket. But three years later, on a bright and sunny Friday afternoon, the India captain brought up his seventh double ton - notching an unbeaten 254 against South Africa.

The stellar innings not only helped India put up a mammoth 601-5 (decl) against the Proteas on the second day of the second Test, but also put the visiting side under immense pressure.

And that was evident as South Africa was left reeling at 36-3 at the end of the day, with Theunis de Bruyn (20) and Anrich Nortje (8) remaining unbeaten at the end of the day.

India vs South Africa | Second Test | Day 2 | As it Happened

While Umesh Yadav -- who was drafted into the side, keeping the nature of the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium’s wicket in mind -- scalped two wickets to put the visitor on the back foot, the day belonged to captain Kohli.

King Kohli oozes class

Against a South Africa bowling line-up, which failed to make an impact, Kohli hammered his first Test ton of the year, in eleven innings. And then, aptly summed it up by going past Sir Donald Bradman’s record of most number of 150-plus scores as a skipper.

While the Australian legend had gone past the 150 run-mark on eight occasions, Kohli now has nine in his kitty.

With the region witnessing incessant rain overnight, Kohli knew batting could be difficult in the first session, with South Africa having the quicks -- Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada -- in its ranks.

Not the one who would take a backward step, even under pressure, Kohli relied on his natural game and went on the counter-attack as he forged a 178-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Ajinkya Rahane -- the highest for India against South Africa.

The two tackled the Proteas bowlers with ease, before Rahane fell for 59, caught behind by Quinton de Kock off Rabada, soon after lunch.

But the Proteas pacers struggled to keep King Kohli quiet. The 30-year-old ensured there was never a dull moment for the 6,000-odd spectators who had braved the scorching sun to come out and cheer for their favourite cricketer.

Jadeja, Kohli pile on the agony

Pairing with Ravindra Jadeja, Kohli added another 225 runs for the fifth wicket -- going hammer and tongs at the opposition bowlers. Soon after scoring his double century, Kohli, however, was caught at slip by Faf du Plessis off Senuran Muthusamy. But it turned out to be a no-ball!

Having got a reprieve, the captain took it slow after a point, allowing Jadeja to play a blitzkrieg innings of 91 in 104 balls and pile up quick runs.

That strategy worked well for the host. On a track, which dried up as the game progressed, none of the Proteas bowlers could dig in and that was evident with the fact that only two Indian wickets fell in the entire day.

Just when it looked Jadeja, too, would score a ton, he was caught by de Bryun off Muthusamy, falling nine short of the three digit mark.

But by then, India had enough runs on the board to throw up a challenge for the young and inexperienced South African batting line-up.

 

SQUADS

INDIA XI:  Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami

 

SOUTH AFRICA XI: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (capt), Quinton de Kock (wk), Senuran Muthusamy, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje

 

You can watch the match on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD in English commentary and Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 3 HD in Hindi commentary. You can also watch the live streaming on Hotstar.