Keegan Petersen, Temba Bavuma helped South Africa take a slender lead before India moved ahead again
Stumps India 202 and 85 for 2 (Pujara 35*, Rahane 11*, Jansen 1-18) lead South Africa 229 (Petersen 62, Bavuma 51, Thakur 7-61) by 58 runs
Both Jansen and Maharaj took the attacking route, hitting three boundaries each in their respective 21s. Jasprit Bumrah, for a change, failed to nail his yorkers and even ended up bowling a beamer to Jansen but eventually pegged Maharaj’s off stump back to end the partnership.
Two balls later, Bumrah hit Duanne Olivier on his left arm as the batter took his eyes off against a raring delivery. Jansen then tried to keep the strike to himself and even struck two fours in Bumrah’s next over, but Thakur dismissed him and Lungi Ngidi in the space of four balls to wrap the innings up.
In response, India lost KL Rahul early, with the opener edging Jansen to second slip where Aiden Markram took a low catch. The on-field umpires referred it upstairs with the soft signal out; the third umpire didn’t find any conclusive evidence to overrule that decision.
Mayank Agarwal was looking fluent, having hit five fours in his 23, but an error in judgement resulted in his wicket. He didn’t offer a shot to an Olivier delivery that nipped back off the surface to trap him lbw.
Bumrah got one to come back in to Petersen after a string of awayswingers. The batter shouldered arms and, luckily for him, the ball went over the stumps.
A few overs later, Elgar edged one off Bumrah and Pant took it low, which the on-field umpires referred upstairs with the soft signal as out. The third umpire concluded that it was a bump ball. In the next over, Shami cut Petersen in half but on this occasion, too, the ball sailed over the wicket.
Rahul then turned to Siraj. The seamer had left the field after hurting his hamstring in the penultimate over of the first day but on Tuesday, he was on the field right from the start. He started with a shorter run-up and was down in pace as well. Petersen took advantage of that, hitting two boundaries in his first over of the day.
Elgar, meanwhile, was stuck on his overnight score of 11. It took him 32 balls to score his first runs of the morning – at one point, he had faced 47 dots in a row. He broke that sequence with a flicked boundary off R Ashwin.
It was Thakur who brought India back in the game, by picking up three quick wickets. Elgar and Petersen had added 74 in 35 overs when he had Elgar caught behind for 28. Petersen reached his maiden half-century with a boundary off Shami and celebrated it with two more fours in the over, but a rare loose shot outside off against Thakur cost him his wicket.
And then, in the last over before lunch, Thakur found Rassie van der Dussen’s inside edge, which hit his thigh and lobbed behind the stumps. The batter walked back, but replays showed that the ball had perhaps bounced just in front of the diving Rishabh Pant. That meant South Africa slipped from 88 for 1 to 102 for 4.
In his next over, Thakur had Bavuma caught down the leg side for 51 to complete his maiden five-for in Test cricket. Bavuma, who reached his half-century off just 59 balls, hit six fours and a six during his knock, the most eye-catching being an on-drive against Bumrah.
From the other end, Shami got Kagiso Rabada mistiming a drive to mid-on. At 179 for 7, it looked like India could even take a lead but South Africa’s lower order didn’t let that happen.
Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo