Elegant Hamza knocks maiden Test half century
CAPE TOWN – Zubayr Hamza was the shining light for the Proteas on yet another tough morning of Test cricket for the Proteas in Ranchi.
Hamza played with confidence and elegance en-route to his maiden Test half-century. The Cape Cobras star oozed class against both pace and spin, illustrated best by his lofted on-drive for six off Ravichandran Ashwin that brought up the milestone.
South Africa enjoyed their most profitable period with the bat during this period with Hamza and Temba Bavuma (32) adding 91 for the fourth wicket of the early dismissal of overnight batsman Faf du Plessis. The Proteas captain received a brilliant delivery from Umesh Yadav and was clean bowled for one.
But just when the visitors were growing in confidence, India skipper Virat Kohli threw the ball to ace all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. The left-arm spinner tightened the screws and increased the pressure as the steady run-flow of the first hour began drying up.
With the pressure building, Jadeja wrapped Hamza on the pads and immediately went up for a review after the initial appeal was turned down. Television replays ruled in favour of the on-field officials and India lost a review.
It mattered nothing, though, with Jadeja repeating the trick the very next ball. Once again fired in from wide of the crease, the ball sped on and beat Hamza’s bat and pad this time to rifle into leg-stump.
Hamza’s excellent innings was brought to an abrupt end as he made his way back to the pavilion for 62 (79 balls, 10x4, 1x6).
Bowled. After an unsuccessful review, Jadeja gets Hamza a ball later. He's gone for 62 off 79 balls (10x4s, 1x6). SA 107/4 (27.4 ovs) as Heinrich Klaasen walks to the crease to join Temba Bavuma. #INDvSA pic.twitter.com/PNeCGACqxR— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) October 21, 2019
This opened the door for debutant left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem to also get into the act. Only three balls after Hamza’s dismissal, India were celebrating again when Bavuma was stranded in no-man’s land after attempting to go down to wicket to a well-flighted delivery.
With the ball turning more than Bavuma expected, it spun past the outside edge, allowing wicket-keeper W. Saha to take off the bails with Bavuma miles outside of his ground. Nadeem had his maiden Test wicket.
The carnage was not done yet with Jadeja delivering yet another beauty to clean bowl Heinrich Klaasen (6) to leave South Africa reeling at 119/6.
Dane Piedt (4*) and George Linde (10*) will look to delay the inevitable in the second session.
Second Test, Day 3, Lunch
India: 497/9 declared (Sharma 212, Rahane 114, Jadeja 51)
South Africa: 129/6 (Hamza 62, Bavuma 32, Jadeja 2/11, Yadav 2/39)@ZaahierAdams