Shardul Thakur strikes again after Temba Bavuma reaches 50
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Johannesburg — It was a case of copy and paste from South Africa’s batters and India’s bustling seamer Shardul Thakur, who again used the last half an hour of the session, to dash the home team’s hopes on the second day of the second Test here on Tuesday.
In the morning it was Dean Elgar and Keegan Petersen, who had nullified the Indians for 90 minutes, in the afternoon it was Temba Bavuma and Kyle Verreynne. And then with 30 minutes to go to tea, it was Thakur, who dismissed them both. Mohammed Shami backed it up with a third wicket, when Kagiso Rabada drove sloppily to Mohammed Siraj at mid-on to leave the Proteas 191/7 at tea, still trailing India’s first innings total by 11 runs.
Bavuma had played fluently in compiling a a 17th Test half-century as he and Verreynne shared a vital 60-run partnership for the fifth wicket following the mayhem that had preceded lunch. Besides problems against the odd short ball from Shami, the South African pair showed exemplary patience and technique in taking the attack to the Indians.
The South African vice captain played some delightful strokes, with an on-drive off Jasprit Bumrah a highlight, while the other feature of the partnership was the running between the wickets, which helped to keep the scoreboard ticking, something the hosts failed to do in the morning.
There had been some drama at the lunch break with Proteas skipper Elgar and the Proteas manager
Kgomotoso Masubelele, seen going into the umpires rooms, presumably to discuss the dismissal of Rassie van der Dussen. TV replays showed the ball had bounced in front of Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, but it apparently wasn’t conclusive enough for the officials to overturn.
Verreynne, who replaced Quinton de Kock, had played well in support of Bavuma, but the Indians had stopped his scoring and in that period Thakur struck. He got one angling into the right hander to hold its line, trapping Verreynne lbw for 21.
Bavuma smacked Ravi Ashwin for six and then brought up his second half century of the series with an outside edge for four. Off the following delivery, while trying to glance the ball to fine leg, he got a thin edge with Pant taking an excellent diving catch behind.
This time the officials took their time in making a decision, looking at a few replays to ensure the ball didn’t touch the ground. The footage confirmed Bavuma’s dismissal for 51, off only 60 balls, which included six fours and the six.
It was Thakur’s maiden Test ‘five for’ and came at an invaluable time for his team. At tea his figures read 13.1-3-43-5.