Incredible third day of see-saw action ends with South Africa on top

Dean Elgar South Africa

Resuming on 85 for 2, India scrapped and fought to 266 all out to set South Africa a target of 240 runs to win the second Test and level the series.

Kagiso Rabada produced his best spell of the series to derail India’s efforts at taking the game away from the Proteas in the morning session.

Rabada brought South Africa back into the match with a burst of three wickets in as many overs after Pujara and Rahane added 66 runs in 14 overs to the overnight total of 85 for two with the most fluent batting of the match.

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Rabada made the breakthrough in the first over after the morning drinks break when Rahane was caught behind for 58.

In his next over Rabada trapped Pujara leg before wicket for 53.

Pujara had reached his half-century off just 62 balls striking ten boundaries but only added another three from 24 deliveries before his dismissal.

Rishabh Pant was struck on the shoulder by a Rabada bouncer and foolishly charged at the next ball, succeeding only in edging a catch to wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne to depart for a duck.

With South Africa looking to be well on top India fought back.

Hanuma Vihari made a dogged 40 not out while there was aggressive batting from Ravichandran Ashwin (16) and Shardul Thakur (28) as India added 99 runs for the loss of their last five wickets.

South Africa were 118 for two at the close, with skipper Dean Elgar unbeaten on 46 after a three-hour examination of his skill and resolve.

Elgar had been struck on the neck by a ball from Jasprit Bumrah and on the right hand by Shardul Thakur, with both injuries requiring treatment on the field, but he was unmoved by stumps despite losing two partners.

South Africa made a bright start, powered by an aggressive cameo from Aiden Markram. The opener stroked 31 off 38 balls in an a stand of 47 with Elgar.

But Markram would fall leg before wicket to first-innings bowling hero Thakur, who won a verdict from umpire Marais Erasmus after two earlier unsuccessful appeals in the same over.