Markram misses ton but South Africa prosper

Olive Hawkins
January 13, 2018

The tail-ender deflects the ball towards short fine for a single off the second legal delivery.

That piece of good fortune spurred the home side on and they managed another 36 runs in the next seven overs up to the lunch break, the shackles seemingly broken.

Markram and Amla though, continued unruffled, and looked nearly immovable when Ashwin struck again, getting a snick off Markram that Parthiv held on to well to end the second-wicket stand at 63 runs.

Down 1-0 in the three-Test series in South Africa, India face a must-win match at SuperSport Park in Centurion from Saturday.

The second defeat will give India cold comfort as ferocious fast bowling from Mitchell Johnson, who took 12 wickets in the Test on a lively wicket, helped Australia to a 281-run success in 2014. "Exactly what we expected it to be and we actually wanted it to be that way so that both teams are into the contest provided they play some good cricket", said Kohli.

Virat Kohli was unusually happy for a visiting captain, having had a look at the pitch in Centurion, which appeared hard and should facilitate pace and bounce.

"So I worked on making my action a lot more repeatable and I worked on the wrist position at time of release and also added a few things up my repertoire and used my wrist a lot more when I bowl and used my palm more when I bowl the flipper and etc. etc. obviously these things have combined over the last few years, I have had a great time over the last 2-3 years".

Markram misses ton but South Africa prosper

South Africa should have had a far stronger hold on proceedings, but after that late fightback India will feel much better about their chances. De Kock was undone by Ashwin, poking at one away from his body, and then came Philander's foolhardy charge down the wicket that saw him end up at the same end as a furious du Plessis. Veteran Steyn injured his left heel midway through the match and has been sidelined for four to six weeks.

Talking abut Rabada, Du Plessis believes the best is yet to come for the pacer. Keshav Maharaj will be the lone spinner in the team.

But the Indian batsmen needed to step up.

SuperSport Park was expected to be fast and bouncy and replicate the Cape Town pitch where India's batsmen struggled and the top-ranked test team lost by 72 runs to fall behind in a series against its closest challenger in the test rankings. It will not be a surprise if one of Dhawan or Rohit sit out, while Karnataka right-hander KL Rahul - a stroke-maker but with a judicious batting approach - may find himself in the openers' slot. However, they failed to grasp the situation later in the day.

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For large sections of the day, India continued to bowl poorly and the fielders didn't set the world on fire either.

Seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Hardik Pandya, alongwith lone spinner Ravichandran Ashwin bundled out the hosts for 130 in the second innings at Newlands.

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