Proteas still trail as India lead by 400 at tea
JOHANNESBURG – South Africa dragged its first innings to the tea interval on day three of the second Test, but remained well behind India in Pune on Saturday.
At the break South Africa were 197/8, still trailing the Indians by 404 runs, with Vernon Philander, who’s faced 77 balls on 23 and Keshav Maharaj on 21.
Maharaj has been for two scans on his right shoulder, which he injured while diving for a ball off his own bowling on Friday, and while doubts remain about whether he will bowl again, he showed plenty of determination in facing 50 balls so far in his innings.
Philander and Maharaj batted together for most of the afternoon session in Pune, in what was otherwise another difficult two hours for South Africa in a series which has so far been dominated by the Indians.
Resuming on 136/6 after lunch, the Proteas soon lost Senuran Muthusamy, as a result of an excellent decision by umpire Nigel Llong. Muthusamy had chosen to pad up to a delivery from Ravi Jadeja that had pitched well outside his off-stump and spun back sharply into the left-hander. India’s appeal for lbw was half-hearted but Llong raised his right index finger to indicate he believed that the ball had spun enough to his the off-stump.
Muthusamy understandably - after a brief discussion with Faf du Plessis - referred the decision to the TV umpire, Richard Illingworth. But the Decision Review technology confirmed Llong’s judgement, sending Muthusamy back to the pavilion for seven, the first time he’d been dismissed in the series.
It’s certainly a decision that prior to the advent of DRS, would not have been made by an umpire, but it indicates that perhaps some more balance is returning to the sport and that batsmen will need to use their bats in future.
Du Plessis had reached 64 when he was deceived by a lovely delivery from Ravichandaran Ashwin, which held its line, kissed the outside edge giving Ajinkye Rahane an easy catch at slip.
Du Plessis top scored for the Proteas making 64, that inlcuded nine fours and a six.
Philander and Maharaj, have shown great courage in what has so far been a ninth wicket partnership worth 35 runs.@shockerhess