CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s fast bowlers powered the home side to the verge of a sensational victory in the first Test against India.
After India skittled South Africa for just 130 in the morning session, which left the tourists requiring just 208 runs for victory, the home side roared back into contention by claiming seven wickets in the second session.
India still require 126 runs after plummeting to 82/7 at the tea interval.
Morne Morkel made the initial breakthrough when he had Shikhar Dhawan caught in the slip cordon before Vernon Philander dismissed Murali Vijay. It was the third time unlucky for Vijay after the Indian opener had earlier successfully reviewed two decisions from umpire Richard Kettlebrough against him.
India slipped from 30 without loss to 39/3 when Cheteshwar Pujara was caught behind off Morne Morkel.
Captain Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma led some sort of resistance, but it was Philander who claimed the big scalp of Kohli.
After changing ends from the Wynberg End to the Kelvin Grove End, Philander showed he could still make an impact by trapping Kohli infront. The Indian skipper reviewed, but the original decision was upheld.
South Africa sensed an opportunity to bang the door down now and Philander forced Rohit Sharma to play on and his middle stump went cartling.
There were further celebrations when India’s first innings hero Hardik Pandya was dismissed for a duck when he was caught in the gully by AB de Villiers off Kagiso Rabada.
At 77/6, India were in real trouble and the plunged further into the quagmire when WP Saha was trapped lbw on the stroke of tea by Rabada for eight.