South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj frustrates India as hosts take 326-run lead


India on Saturday bowled South Africa out for 275 taking a decisive lead of 326 runs in the first innings of the second Test match in the series. But, the Indian bowlers were made to sweat for the last three wickets as Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander added 109 runs for the ninth wicket. While Maharaj went on to score 72, Philander remained unbeaten at 44.

South Africa
Photo: BCCI

Chasing India’s first innings total of 601, South Africa’s top order once again collapsed before the Indian attack with Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami picking up the first five wickets for just 53 runs. Captain Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock made valiant efforts to add some respectability to the South African innings but failed after the former departed at 64. du Plessis too got out at 31.

It was then left to South Africa’s number 10 batsman Keshav Maharaj to play the best knock of his life. He was unlucky to have flicked Ravichandran Ashwin in the leg slip to Rohit Sharma, who made no mistake in catching the ball. Had it not been for Sharma’s brilliant catch, Maharaj appeared set to score what could have a remarkable century.

Ravichandran Ashwin took four wickets, while Yadav and Mohammad Shami scalped three and two wickets respectively. Ravindra Jadeja took the remaining wicket of Senuran Muthusamy.

The third day’s play had to be called off due to poor light soon after South Africa lost their last wicket. India are likely to bat for a session or more on Sunday before forcing the visitors to bat with a 450-plus target.

India currently lead the three-match Test series 1-0.