India on top after dire day for Proteas


India were well in control of the first Test against South Africa in Mohali at stumps on day two, holding a lead of 142 runs after the Proteas failed to reach India's first innings score.

India were on 125 for two at the close, thanks to a gritty 63 not out from Cheteshwar Pujara, and built on the lead of 17 runs they secured when they bowled SA out for 184 in the afternoon session.

The Proteas started the day on 28 for two, chasing the 201 India recorded on day one, and had it all to do on a deck that spun prodigiously from the get-go.

Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla were in the middle overnight, and continued to do well in the morning, taking the score to 85. As such, the Proteas lost their last eight wickets for less than 100 runs.

Elgar faced 123 balls for his 37 runs, with just two fours, before he was caught off Ravi Ashwin. The spinner ended up taking five wickets, his 13th such tally in Test cricket.

Amla was unlucky to be out for 43, and while the scorecard says stumped, the wicketkeeper got nowhere near it with his gloves. Wriddhiman Saha missed the ball, but it bounced off his chest and onto the stumps, and Amla was out of his crease.

Dane Vilas, batting in his first innings after missing the chance to bat in his debut match in Bangladesh, could score just one run before being caught by Ravi Jadeja off Ashwin.

AB de Villiers stood firm at the other end and picked up the pace on his way to 63, clearly deciding that it was up to him to get the deficit as small as possible before he ran out of partners. None of the bottom six could reach double figures.

With the Proteas all out and still behind by 17 runs, India had plenty of time to bat in the day. They lost the early wicket of Shikhar Dhawan though, as he was caught by De Villiers off Vernon Philander in the slips for a duck.

Murali Vijay and Pujara then advanced the score to 95 and looked threatening, with the lead growing further away from reachable. The stand was broken by Imran Tahir just before the close, when Vijay was superbly caught at short leg by Temba Bavuma for 47.

South Africa will be desperate to stop the lead from reaching 250, as chasing on this deck will be a nightmare, given how much it's spinning and how good India's slow bowler are.