India vs South Africa, 1st Test Day 3: India tightens grip after Elgar, de Kock centuries

India vs South Africa, 1st Test Day 3: Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock scored centuries as the visitors ended the day at 385/8, trailing by 117 runs.

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Quinton de Kock makes an impact early in the Test series.   -  PTI Photo

Highlights from day three of the first Test between India and South Africa in Visakhapatnam.

 

5:00pm: That will be stumps with the third and final session belonging to the host. South Africa at the end of third day's play 385/8 and trail by 117 runs. India swung back in the final session with the wickets, but not before Elgar (160) and de Kock (111) had scored centuries. Not to forget, Ashwin's five-for. That will be all from us and thanks for tuning in.

4:37pm: Ashwin picks his fourth scalp by removing a well-set Quinton de Kock on 111. The offspinner set him up nicely by bowling a straight one after two well-spun ones.

4:11pm: Quinton de Kock too does it in style as he notches up his century with a six, his fifth and first against India. Terrific knock this has been from the left-hander. South Africa 365/6.

3:51pm: OUT. Jadeja gets the breakthrough as he removes a well-set Dean Elgar for 160. It was there to be hit and Elgar goes ahead with the shot but at the end Pujara does well to run in and take the catch.

With the wicket of Elgar, Jadeja picked up his 200 Test wickets. He also became the fastest left-arm bowler to reach the milestone - 44 Tests. Among Indians, R. Ashwin took 37 matches to take 44 wickets.

3:29pm: 150 up for Elgar and this is his second 150+ score. The first being against Bangladesh in  Potchefstroom in 2017.

3:01pm: The third and final session coming up. A bit of cloud cover as Ashwin resumes the proceedings.

TEA: South Africa managed to put up two good partnerships on day three. Faf du Plessis held firm with Dean Elgar until his dismissal and Quinton de Kock came in and got going. The Indian bowlers, expected to make inroads in the South African batting lineup following yesterday's three quick wickets, but no such luck today. The follow-on target is just 11 runs away now as South Africa goes into the break at 278 for 5.

2:26pm: Quinton de Kock brings up his half-century and also put up a stand of 100 runs with Elgar. This is really frustrating for India. South Africa 278/5. Meanwhile, after crashing into the advertising board, Jadeja seems to have a cut on his finger.

2:18pm: Second new ball taken and Ravi Ashwin to bowl.

Drinks! India would have expected to have got an opening at the fall of du Plessis. But Quinton de Kock has got going along with Elgar. South Africa 243/5 (Elgar 116*, de Kock 38*)

1:49pm: It has suddenly become overcast in Vizag, lights are on.

Quinton de Kock has got a start here and stands a great chance of converting it into a significant one. This is what he had said to my colleague Ayan Acharya before the start of the Test series. READ

1:20pm: Another big over, 11 off it. De Kock not holding back as he follows up a six with a gentle nudge to the fence for a boundary. Both the batsmen are closing in on a fifty-run stand.

 

1:17pm: Quinton de Kock also showing positive intent against spin, as he hits two back-to-back boundaries off Ashwin. South Africa 210/5.

12:52pm: What a way to bring up one's hundred. Dean Elgar gets to the three-figure mark off a six over long-on. This has been a terrific knock from him under pressure. His first century in India and 12th overall.

A bit of trivia: Moeen Ali was the last left-hander to score a century in India.

12:47pm: OUT. Ashwin finally strikes and breaks the partnership of 115 runs. A soft dismissal for Faf du Plessis (55) as he tucks it to Pujara at leg slip for a simple catch. The ploy of bowling on the on-side worked for the off-spinner.

12:41pm: That was sloppy from Ashwin at mid-on, lets the ball through to the fence. Kohli, definitely not happy.

12:36pm: Ashwin erring in line at times and being punished with boundaries. Maybe his impatience acting up against two well-set and quality batsmen. South Africa 174/4, with Elgar on 88 and du Plessis on 55. The partnership now worth 111 runs. India needs a breakthrough.

12:26pm: Faf du Plessis notches up his half-century off 91 balls, also his first in India. At the other end, Dean Elgar is batting on 80.

Virat Kohli and R. Ashwin having a chat during the third day's play in Vizag.   -  PTI Photo

 

12:18pm: Ashwin from the other end after a brilliant first over from Shami after lunch. Du Plessis two runs away from his fifty.

12:12pm: Players are back in the middle for the second session. South Africa to resume from 153/4, looks like Shami to start the proceedings.

11:30am: Easily South Africa dominated the first session, losing only one wicket and scoring 114 runs. India took the field expecting its spinners to run amok but Elgar and du Plessis had other plans, as both put up an unbeaten 90 runs stand. South Africa 153/4, Elgar 76*, du Plessis 48*. 

11:29am: This could be the last over before lunch. Can India sneak in a wicket?

11:13am: Saha behind the wickets drops Elgar on 74. Tough chance, but should have been taken. Meanwhile, du Plessis has moved to 42.

11:03: Tossed up and Elgar lofts it over midwicket. The left-handed batsman has been playing these shots well being in the crease. As I type, he has taken Jadeja to the cleaners with another six and a tucked boundary to fine-leg. Jadeja concedes 16 runs in the over. South Africa 140/4, Elgar 74*, du Plessis 37*.

Hanuma Vihari into the attack. While, Elgar and du Plessis bring up the fifty-run stand.

10:47am: That will be fifty for Dean Elgar off 112 balls. He has been positive so far since the start of the day's play. SA 106/4.

Kohli decides to bowl both the spinners in tandem. But Elgar and du Plessis look comfortable at the crease, playing the spinners.

10:31am: Just before the drinks break, Kohli brings in Jadeja into the attack. South Africa 92/4, with Elgar batting on 44 and du Plessis on 20.

10:25am: Ashwin continues and before the start to his over, was having a chat with Kohli. A slip, leg-slip, silly point, short leg in place for du Plessis. But both the batsmen at the middle are positive playing Ashwin.

10:19am: Four. This is positive batting by Elgar. Length ball from Ashwin and Elgar lofts it over mid-on. The batsman clears the front foot, makes room to play the shot. Time to bring on Ravi Jadeja. SA 81/4 in reply to India's 502/7.

10:05am: Dean Elgar has settled down well for his 86-ball 36 but has a huge task along with Faf du Plessis on a track helping the Indian bowlers. Ravichandran Ashwin, particularly has been brilliant with his variations.

 

Bowling change, Mohammed Shami back into the attack.

9:56am: OUT. Ishant Sharma strikes first on day three morning with the the scalp of Temba Bavuma for 18. Pitched outside the line but the delivery jags back sharply to trap the right-handed batsman right infront of the stumps. SA 63/4.

9:20am While Indian bowlers have started much better than their South African counterparts in Vizag, one person the team and the fans miss is Jasprit Bumrah. A stress fracture in the lower back ruled him of the Test series between India and South Africa. West Indian great Michael Holding says that using a short run up and being so explosive at the crease puts a lot more stress on his body.

Bumrah meanwhile will leave for the United Kingdom on October 6 or 7 to undergo treatment for the stress fracture he suffered on his lower back.

India though enough firepower to to deal with Bumrah's loss. Speaking ahead of his first Test against India, South African spinner Keshav Maharaj praised Indian spin duo Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. And how right was he, for the spin twins picked up three important wickets at the end of play on day 2.

9:07 am South African bowlers struggled against India on the first two days of the first Test. Proteas' second-highest Test wicket-taker Shaun Pollock opined that the likes of Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi need to come up with a plan to pick wickets in Indian conditions.

 

9 am Ayan Acharya, our reporter in Vizag, had a chance to shadow Mayank Agarwal in Cuttack during the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 competition earlier this year. During one of the net sessions at Barabati, he got glimpse of the fortitude that translated into a double hundred yesterday. Click here to read his words on the 28-year-old Bengaluru player.

8:40 am Yesterday, Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal became only the third Indian opening pair to share a 300-run partnership in the history of Test cricket. Here's more on that stat, and others, from day 2.

Day two review Mayank Agarwal, the man with the double-century, leads his team into the dressing room. India now finds itself in a commanding position, with a huge total on the board and three early South African wickets.

Much responsibility will be on Temba Bavuma and the rest of the middle order to play through the day on Friday, but the situation is already bleak for the Proteas, especially with the control and authority exuded by the spinners today.

Still, there could be further twists and turns. Perhaps an innings of graft. Perhaps a bit of a comeback. Perhaps a magnificent spell.

Click here to read our reporter Ayan Acharya's day 2 report from Vizag.

Day 1 review: After two sessions of action, the third and session on day one was called off because of heavy rain. After India won the toss and opting to bat, Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma stole the show with their 202 runs unbeaten stand. Rohit, scored a brilliant hundred on his debut as Test opener, while Mayank remained unbeaten on 84. Read the Day 1 report by Ayan Acharya.