Centurion: Skipper Virat Kohli kept India afloat with a valiant 85 but the visitors were still in a spot of bother, finishing day two at 183 for five in the second cricket Test against South Africa, here on Sunday.
Kohli held together India’s innings with a classy unbeaten 85 which came off 130 balls and was studded with eight boundaries.
Hardik Pandya (11 not out) was giving Kohli company at the crease as India reached the total in 61 overs at stumps in reply to South Africa’s 335 all out in their first innings
The duo added 19 runs for the unbeaten sixth wicket.
Kohli led India’s response but South Africa kept chipping away with wickets at the other end to end the second day firmly in front. The visitors, who are down 0-1 in the three-match series, still trail South Africa by another 152 runs.
Barring Kohli, opener Murali Vijay scored a gritty 46 off 126 balls before being dismissed by left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj.
Together with Vijay, Kohli added 79 runs for the third wicket as India crossed 100 in the 33rd over.
Kohli, meanwhile, scored his 16th Test half-century off 68 balls and was inclusive of seven boundaries. The skipper also added 25 runs with Rohit Sharma (10) for the fourth wicket.
But Rohit once again fell cheaply, out lbw to Kagiso Rabada (1/33). The batsman went for review but was given out on umpire’s call with the ball clipping the top of middle stump.
Lungi Ngidi (1/26) then had Parthiv Patel (19) caught behind in the 54th over to reduce India to 164 for five.
Pandya then joined Kohli in the middle and the duo managed to see off the remainder of the session without any further loss.
Rahul had looked rusty, particularly against Morne Morkel’s (1-24) bounce, and only ended up returning a catch, which the bowler grabbed in a diving effort to the left.
Immediately on the next ball, Cheteshwar Pujara was run- out for his career’s first golden duck as he set off on a suicidal run and failed to beat Lungi Ngidi’s throw from mid- on.
This was after South Africa were bowled out for 335 runs (113.5 overs) in their first innings just before lunch. R Ashwin finished with 4/113 and Ishant Sharma took 3/46 as the Proteas lost their last seven wickets for 89 runs.
Starting from overnight 269/6, Faf du Plessis (63) and Keshav Maharaj (18) took their seventh wicket stand to 31 runs.
India wasted their last DRS review early in the day as Jasprit Bumrah (0/60) looked for an early LBW call against Maharaj.
Mohammed Shami (1/58) bowled a lively spell and got the breakthrough with Maharaj caught behind in the 99th over.
India finally got the delayed breakthrough in the 111th over as Pandya held a smart catch off Ishant in the deep. Two overs later, Ishant also bowled du Plessis to change the course of the morning session again.
Ashwin then wrapped up the South African innings as Morne Morkel (6) holed out to long off.