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PHOTOS: India take huge lead despite gritty fight from SA tail

Last updated on: October 12, 2019 17:58 IST

Images from Day 3 of the second Test between India and South Africa, in Pune.

- SCORECARD

Faf du Plessis

IMAGE: Ashwin celebrates with team-mates on Saturday, Day 3 of the second Test against India, in Pune. Photograph: BCCI

Tail-enders Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander set an example of gutsy batsmanship as South Africa fought hard against a quality attack but could not stop India from taking a massive 326-run lead on the third day of the second Test in Pune.

 

While a total of 275 in 105.4 overs is far from India's mammoth first innings total of 601, the 119-run ninth wicket stand between Philander (44 not out) and an injured Maharaj (72) showed what the top-order could have done had they shown some stomach for fight.

The duo ducked the bouncers, defended doggedly and attacked the loose deliveries as the Indian bowling attack suddenly lacked answers during the final session of the third day, which certainly belonged to the Proteas.

Keshav Maharaj

IMAGE:  Keshav Maharaj (72) and Vernon Philander (44) helped them cross the 250-run mark.Photograph: BCCI

The duo ducked the bouncers, defended doggedly and attacked the loose deliveries as the Indian bowling attack suddenly lacked answers during the final session of the third day, which certainly belonged to the Proteas.

Coming together at 152 for eight, Philander-Maharaj pair not only had a century- plus stand but more importantly consumed 43.1 overs, taking away a lot of second innings overs from India.

The pitch has shown no considerable signs of wear and tear over three days but nothing can be taken away from Philander, whose, defensive technique against Ravichandran Ashwin (4/69) and Ravindra Jadeja's (1/81) tight bowling, was laudable.

After a point the two senior spinners looked a touch frustrated and Maharaj scored some useful runs against them and then against the second new ball.
It was a top notch effort from two individuals, for whom batting is not their primary skill.

Maharaj hit 12 boundaries even as he looked in pain while rubbing his shoulder. He was finally out, caught at leg slip by Rohit Sharma off Ashwin but after a satisfying day in office.

The highlights of the morning session was however Mohammed Shami's hostile first spell and an acrobatic catch from Wriddhiman Saha while the afternoon session was all about relentless pressure created by Ashwin and Jadeja.

Faf du Plessis

IMAGE: Skipper Faf du Plessi produced a fighting 64 off 117 balls but the rest of the South Africa batsmen disappointed on Saturday, Day 3 of the second Test against India, in Pune. Photograph: BCCI

South Africa's most experienced pair of skipper Faf du Plessis (64) and Quinton de Kock (31) tried to resurrect the innings with a quick stand of 75 runs but Ashwin removed the latter before lunch to make matters worse for the visitors.

Shami (2/44) bowled with a lot of fire, sticking to hard lengths during the session while Umesh Yadav's (3/37) third wicket of the innings primarily belongs to Saha, who once again proved why he is rated as the best in the world.

On a pitch where Indian batsmen looked at ease, it was an every moment struggle for the Proteas batsmen.

Wriddhiman Saha takes an acrobatic catch to dismiss Theunis de Bruyn.

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma celebrates as wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha takes an acrobatic catch to dismiss Theunis de Bruyn. Photograph: BCCI

Shami (2/33 in 12 overs) bowled with a lot of fire during the session while Umesh Yadav's (3/32 in 11 overs) third wicket of the innings primarily belongs to Saha, who once again proved why he is rated as the best Test wicketkeeper in the world.

On a pitch where Indian batsmen looked at ease, it was a struggle for the Proteas. Shami got the semi new ball to dart back in after pitching while Yadav primarily bowled out-swingers.

Night-watchman Anrich Nortje (4) was uncomfortable from the start as Virat Kohli set an attacking field that included four slips and a gully.

Quinton de Kock is bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin

IMAGE: Quinton de Kock is bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin. Photograph: BCCI

Shami got deliveries to rear up from the length and one such delivery was awkwardly fended by Nortje and skipper Kohli, at fourth slip, took a smart catch, diving to his right.

Theunis de Bruyn (30) hit a couple of cover drives but it was a moment of inspiration from Saha that brought about his end.

Trying an expansive drive off Yadav, De Bruyn's hard flash was flying towards first slip and an aerial Saha plucked it off thin air leaving South Africa tottering at 53 for 5.

Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after dismissing Quinton de Kock

IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after dismissing Quinton de Kock. Photograph: BCCI

However, Du Plessis and De Kock batted positively punishing the loose balls, untroubled like the earlier batsmen.

Du Plessis had nine hits to the fence including one maximum, while De Kock hit seven boundaries.

It was Ashwin who removed De Kock with a classic off-break that pitched on the middle. The southpaw was squared up and beaten trying to play for the turn and looked back to find the bails dislodged.

Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli celebrate after Senuran Muthusamy is adjudged leg before wicket by umpifre Nigel Llong.

IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli celebrate after Senuran Muthusamy is adjudged leg before wicket by umpire Nigel Llong. Photograph: BCCI

In the post lunch session, spinners took control as Senuran Muthsamy (7) shouldered arms to a delivery from Jadeja that turned back sharply and was adjudged leg-before.

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