If the first two sessions of the first day in Centurion belonged entirely to South Africa, then the third belonged more or less to India as both the teams shared the honors when the stumps were called.
Twitter reacts as india end day one on strong note South Africa were looking set to end the day on a high after reaching 246 for three before three quick wickets helped India to share the honors
Under a clear sky and on a pitch that looked more subcontinental than Africa, India’s bowlers toiled hard, partly for the little or no assistance from the track and partly because of their inconsistency. Faf du Plessis’ decision to bat first was fully justified by the Proteas openers as they added 78 in the first session.
With not much working for them in the opening session, India started the second session with their most experienced bowlers and their best bowlers from the first session – Ravichandran Ashwin and Ishant Sharma. The move immediately paid off as Ashwin sent back Dean Elgar soon after lunch.
The left-handed batsman had tried to hit the off-spinner by stepping out of his crease but ended up hitting the ball straight to the silly point where Murali Vijay took a sharp catch.
The dismissal, however, did not affect South Africa’s momentum as Aiden Markram led their charge. The opening batsman and Hashim Amla added 63-runs for the second wicket before the former missed a well-deserved century by just six runs when he edged an Ashwin delivery behind the stumps.
South Africa ended the second session without suffering any further setback as the scoreboard read a commanding 182 for 2.
Just like the second session, India began the third one on a good note too with AB de Villiers chopping one from Ishant Sharma after adding just 4 runs to his 16 that he scored in the second session. It was followed by another handy stand between Amla and skipper Faf du Plessis.
But just when it looked the Proteas would end the day on a high, India took three wickets in quick succession to claw their way back in the game.
Amla was the first to go when he was brilliantly run-out by Hardik Pandya before Ashwin had Quinton de Kock caught in slip for a duck. Another run-out followed it with Vernon Philander paying the price for a misunderstanding as South Africa found themselves reduced to 251 for 6 from 246 for 3.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the day’s play:
Choking mode on at Centurion.#INDvSA
— Umang Pabari (@UPStatsman) January 13, 2018
Should look at Pandya as a package. Athletic fielding, hitting, 10-12 overs of bowling.
— Bharath Ramaraj (@Fancricket12) January 13, 2018
Interesting how the last 10 overs have put India back in the driver's seat. And Ashwin has looked India's best bowler – even though it hinged more on the 4 pacers #IndvsSA
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) January 13, 2018