Sunday, 25 February, 2018

Kohli becomes 4th fastest to smash 21 Test centuries

Kohli becomes 4th fastest to smash 21 Test centuries Kohli becomes 4th fastest to smash 21 Test centuries
Rita Gibson | 16 January, 2018, 23:50

The Proteas themselves only managed to score 57 in the two-and-a-quarter hour afternoon session which tells just how hard it is to score runs.

Post tea, play was possible for just 20 minutes before a thunderstorm washed away almost an hour. He was clearly unhappy with something that couldn't be immediately ascertained. It resumed for another 27 minutes under gloomy skies with the floodlights on before bad light ended the day. A lot happened in that passage of play though.

Both batsmen survived some anxious moments, in particular Elgar, who on 29 edged Bumrah at catchable height between wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel and first slip Pujara.

SA got the defence of their score to a good start when Kagiso Rabada bowled out Murali Vijay for just nine runs with a low bounce delivery that got an inside edge before crushing his leg stump to bring Pujara to the crease. The umpires waited almost 66 minutes before calling off play due to poor light.

Or India could have tried to tie South Africa down and wait for mistakes: to see how much South Africa wanted to push the game on a pitch that looked like a foreign pitch to the hosts, a surface on which they couldn't prise Kohli out in the first innings.

South Africa had won the opening test of the three-match series by 72 runs in Cape Town.

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R Ashwin finished with 4-113 and Ishant Sharma took 3-46 as the Proteas lost their last seven wickets for 89 runs. The gritty left-hander made 61, spending more than three hours at the crease, also facing 121 balls and striking eight fours and one six. Courtesy this knock, Kohli equalled Sir Don Bradman with his eighth 150-plus score as captain. Kohli showed intent and kept egging on all his batting partners as they kept coming and going.

But Morne Morkel (4/60) accounted for Ishant off a short ball in the 91st over and then two overs later, Kohli was last man out, caught at long on.

India refuse to go away in this Test match, and with five sessions left to play they know that they are a few good individual performances away from pulling off something special. Morkel explained that they did not consider bowling straighter because they regard that as playing to India's strengths.

De Villiers's wicket came against the run of play, with Mohammed Shami, who started poorly, suddenly finding the spot and the venom to get a ball to lift sharply off a length. The previous highest for a visiting captain at this ground was 90 by Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 2010.

South Africa first wrestled control through a grinding innings by skipper Faf du Plessis, who faced 141 balls over almost four overs for his 48.

Knowing that Kohli will look to take them on again, South Africa will want to make sure they bat themselves into a position of safety before going on the attack, and Morkel thinks they are already nearly half way there.

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