Johannesburg, Jan 5 (IANS) Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara struck half-centuries before Kagiso Rabada took three wickets to leave India at 188/6 at lunch on day three of the second Test at the Wanderers. At lunch, India are leading by 161 runs with Hanuma Vihari and Shardul Thakur at the crease.
It was an action-packed session where India dominated the first hour, thanks to Rahane and Pujara cashing on South Africa’s wayward line and length. But the hosts bounced back in the second session, taking four wickets while conceding 37 runs, as Rabada started to make things happen.
Resuming from 85/2 on day two, Pujara continued his impressive run, hitting Marco Jansen for two fours through on-side. On the other hand, Rahane slashed Jansen with a drive through mid-off followed by an upper cut over deep point.
South Africa were unable to find a consistent line and length and leaked runs as Rahane continued to smash Rabada for boundaries.
Pujara reached his fifty in 62 balls while two overs later, Rahane brought up his half-century with back-to-back boundaries through point and gully off Duanne Olivier.
After the first hour of play fetched India 66 runs in 14 overs, including the partnership between Pujara and Rahane crossing the 100-run mark, South Africa bounced back in the second hour.
Rabada took the first wicket of the day, getting a delivery to kick off from a length and Rahane edged to keeper Kyle Verreynne, breaking the 111-run partnership. Pujara survived an lbw on review off Olivier, but in the next over, Rabada trapped him lbw with a big inswinger hitting him flush on the pads.
Rabada then went on to remove Rishabh Pant for a three-ball duck. After being rattled by being hit on the gloves, Pant stepped out the very next ball and tried to slog but gave a feather edge to Verreynne.
Ravichandran Ashwin hit some boundaries but was caught down the leg side by Verreynne off Lungi Ngidi. Thakur got off the mark with a four off his second ball and remained not out along with Vihari. Much depends on the duo if India has to set a target of 200 and above for South Africa.
Brief scores: India 202 & 188/6 in 44 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 58, Cheteshwar Pujara 53; Kagiso Rabada 3/54, Lungi Ngidi 1/34) lead South Africa 229 all out in 79.4 overs (Keegan Petersen 62; Shardul Thakur 7/61) by 161 runs.