Proteas captain Faf du Plessis acknowledges the Newlands crowd after reaching his 50 against India on Friday. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Here are the highlights of the first dramatic day of the three-Test series between the Proteas and India at Newlands…

Get to the game on time!

Unlike in England and Australia where spectators fill the stadiums from the toss already, South Africans have a tendency to come to the ground as the day progresses. The late-comers at Newlands though missed an eventful first 22 minutes, with India reducing the Proteas to 12/3 in that time period.

Best form of defence is to attack

Even though Bhuvneshwar Kumar had his tail up with three wickets in the bag and the ball seaming over the place, none of this seemed to bother AB de Villiers, who launched a devastating counter-attack with four successive boundaries off Kumar to get his innings going.

How the genius of AB de Villiers and tenacity of Faf du Plessis got Proteas back in the game

Over the top perhaps, Virat?

Everyone wants the players to display passion out in the middle, and the rivalry between captains Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli has added extra spice to the series. But Kohli’s antics by running towards the South African skipper when he was dismissed was simply childish.

Welcome back Dale!

South African cricket fans have yearned for the return of Dale Steyn. That much was clear when his name was read out on the team-sheet, but even more so when he walked out to bat in Test cricket for the first time in over a year to an almighty cheer.

The ground erupted, though, when Steyn took his first wicket in his comeback match. He may have left the Cape Cobras this season, but Steyn is still a favourite son of Newlands.

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‘Cut off the head of the snake, the rest of the body tends to fall’

Dale Steyn’s now infamous analogy cannot be more appropriate in this series with India heavily dependent on their captain Kohli.

It was not Steyn that “cut off the head” on Friday though, but Morné Morkel, who for the successive Test match claimed a wicket with his first ball when Kohli played a loose shot away from his body to edge behind.

South Africa will hope the “rest of the body” follows on Saturday…


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