Day I: SA end on 6/1 in reply to India's 187 all out
Johannesburg: South Africa were six for the loss of one wicket in their first innings in reply to India's 187 all out at stumps on the opening day of the third and final cricket Test against, here on Wednesday. Skipper Virat Kohli made a fighting 54 while Cheteshwar Pujara scored 50 for India.
Kagiso Rabada (3/39) picked up three wickets for the hosts.
At the close of play, Dean Elgar was batting on 4 in the company of night watchman Rabada. Aiden Markram was the lone South African wicket to fall to Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/3).
On a wicket that promised good carry and bounce for the faster bowlers, India won the toss and surprisingly elected to bat to find only three of their batsmen reach double figures — Cheteshwar Pujara (50), skipper Virat Kohli (54) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (30).
For the Proteas, it was a collective effort from the likes of Morne Morkel (2/47), Vernon Philander (2/31), Kagiso Rabada (3/39), Lungisani Ngidi (1/27) and Andile Phehlukwayo (2/25).
Earlier, South Africa took control of the game by removing Kohli and Rahane in the afternoon session, leaving the visitors at 114 for four at tea on day one of the third and final Test here.
At the break, Cheteshwar Pujara (27 not out, 4 fours) was still playing an anchoring innings having faced 145 balls, while Parthiv Patel (0) was unbeaten at the other end.
Post lunch, Kohli and Pujara took their third wicket partnership to 84 runs. The duo played a few more shots, Kohli in particular, as they sped away after the break after India crossed 50 in the 29th over.
Kohli (on 32) got a second life then as AB de Villiers dropped him at third slip off Morne Morkel (1-35) in the 33rd over. The batsman had chased a wide delivery, only to edge it. He continued to play in an attacking manner, making his luck count, as their 50-partnership came off 134 balls. He had an engaging contest with Kagiso Rabada (1-31) in this interim.
India made good progress as they added 50 runs in the first hour after lunch, the same number as they had scored in the entire first session. In doing so, the Indian skipper brought up his half-century off 101 balls. Finally though, Kohli's luck ran out as he was caught at third slip again, de Villiers holding on this time off Lungi Ngidi (1-7) in the 43rd over.
India crossed 100 in the 46th over. Three overs later, Rahane was given a life when he was caught behind off Vernon Philander (1-22) but it was deemed a no ball. Rahane couldn't make this opportunity count, as he was given out lbw in the 52nd over off Morkel.
The batsman reviewed and the ball appeared to be going down leg side, only clipping the stumps minimally, but the decision stayed on umpire's call. He only added 16 runs with Pujara, who then saw through the remainder of the session in Patel's company.
This was after India opted to bat first on a green-top wicket and reached 45 for two at lunch. The visitors lost their openers early. KL Rahul (0) faced a near-unplayable spell from Philander and should have gone first ball, but somehow managed to survive. Six balls later though, he got an inside-edge off the same bowler and was caught behind.
India were reduced to 13 for two as Murali Vijay (8) was also caught behind off Rabada in the ninth over.
The opener played away from his body, outside the off-stump, without any real footwork and this was a fourth time in five innings on this tour that he was dismissed in such fashion.
Pujara and Kohli then came together and resisted the South African bowling through a testing passage of play. They stayed together for 110 balls, despite being beaten and getting three lives between them.
Philander had almost trapped Pujara (on 0) lbw in the sixth over, only for DRS to stay with umpire Gould's call of not-out as the ball seemed only to clip the bails.
Brief Scores: India first innings 187 (Virat Kohli 54, Cheteshwar Pujara 50, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 30; Kagiso Rabada 3/39, Vernon Philander 2/31, Morne Morkel 2/47) vs South Africa.