Sport

Markram falls in nervous 90s as SA plod on

Markram falls in nervous 90s as SA plod on

On India's 2013/14 tour of South Africa Rahane scored 47, 15, 51 not out and 96 in the two Test matches and looked one of the best-equipped Indian batsmen against pace.

Jittery India aim to stay afloat against daunting South Africa.

There was more drama to follow, as a nervy Vernon Philander fended away a bouncer and ran to the other end without looking at his partner. There was an idea to pick Ishant Sharma ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar because the wicket will have more bounce than seam movement.

The late drama, though, and South Africa's careless end to the day gave India a way back into the test and possibly the three-match series after going 1-0 down in Cape Town and starting the game in Centurion on the back foot. The previous one was touch and go but all the stats are in favour of the team batting first out here.

South Africa had resumed after lunch on 78 without loss and 23-year-old Markram seemed set for his century as he took the attack to the Indian bowlers.

Credit has to go to Hardik Pandya for changing direction in his follow-through, fielding a ball nearly at square leg, turning around and going for and achieving a direct hit at the end that the batsman - Hashim Amla, slower of the two at that time - didn't expect action. South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was unmoved at the other end as Pandya, again, played a role in the run out by returning the ball to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel with both South Africa batsmen at the other end. It's the second time in a short career, but I'm just going to keep saying it's part of the game and try to be positive. "We want to plug all those game".




Du Plessis held his team together until stumps and was 24 not out.

Home captain Faf du Plessis is not out on 24 and will resume his innings on Sunday with Keshav Maharaj (10) on a slow wicket that is expected to quicken over the next few days.

"I don't think we need to panic because of collapses. It could so easily have been a day where they ran away with it in the second session", Ashwin said.

Amla survived two half-chances along the way - on 14, Hardik Pandya got his fingertips to an uppish drive off Ashwin while diving to his left from short midwicket, got his fingertips to one uppish drive from Hashim Amla; on 30, Parthiv Patel got the edge of his gloves to a leg-side tickle off Ishant. Talking about the missed hundred, Markram said, "Obviously, I am bitterly disappointed". "It was a nothing shot and I've still not got over it just yet".

Elgar (31) fell with the score at 85/1 when he was outfoxed by Ravichandran Ashwin (3/90) and caught at silly mid-off, but when Amla came to the wicket the South African scoreboard kept ticking over. Pandya and Ashwin were batting at number seven and eight respectively, which suggests India have enough depth in their batting order -- if their top-order players can get themselves through the new ball.

For South Africa, it was a forced change. In all, he hit nine fours during the course of his innings.


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