Morne Morkel goes, SA woes

Philander went to fifty off the very first ball of the day and what a shot it was. Got up nice and tall and punched the short ball with some width off through the covers. The 1st breakthrough of the day for India came pretty early as Khan got Philander caught at 1st slip. It was a good sharp take from Ashwin at first slip. It was terrific line and length from Zaheer just outside off and short of length, making the batsman play, the edge resulted and Ashwin took that a bit low to his right, for a moment Vijay at second slip looked interested in going for that one but didn't, Philander had done his bit though, a vital 59 for him. I Sharma on the other end, also bowling a tight line got Steyn caught at slip. The short ball worked, Steyn couldn't get out of the way of that one, tried to fend that away, but it only looped towards Rohit at slip, so both the fielders who put down slip catches yesterday had taken one today. In the very next over Khan saw the back of the main man, Faf Du Plessis. It was a length ball outside off, du Plessis hasn't looked at his best this innings, looking to defend off the front foot, nicked through to the keeper. Khan came back in his next over to get the wicket of Morkel after being hit for a four on the previous ball. He bowled a yorker that took out the off stump and India thus managed a lead of 36 runs. Morkel was going for an almighty swing over the off side, but the ball sneaked under his blade and cannoned into the base of off stump. 

So, just as South Africa knocked over India's tail end yesterday morning, India returned the favour securing a rather vital little lead. 

Dhawan and Vijay started off the Indian innings and Dhawan got out in just the 8th over for a mere 15. Pujara came in, with India once again in a difficult position at 23/1. South Africa suffered a big setback in the 12th over as Morkel injured his ankle and will not be able to bowl in the rest of the match. Morne Morkel has a grade 1 ligament tear on his ankle and will be out for seven to ten days. He will not take the field for this game and his fitness might be in doubt for the next Test as well Pujara and Vijay showed solidarity in the middle but after a good stand of 93 runs, Vijay was quite unfortunate to get out. Kallis bowled a simple length ball, sent down the leg side and he got a tickle to it as AB dived to his left and clinged on. It meant frustration for Vijay again after working so hard to set himself up for a big score, and then falling to a delivery without any threat. He'd been rather solid with balls far better than that. This meant that India's new No. 4, Virat Kohli had to stride out to the middle with India at 93/2. Pujara got to his fifty off 127 balls in the 46th over. Kohli got to his fifty off just 74 balls. Pujara got to his century off 168 balls with a classy drive off the bowling of Steyn for four runs. India ended the day at 284/2 with both Pujara and Kohli growing from strength to strength, not out at 135 and 77 respectively. India now lead by 320 runs with 8 wickets remaining.

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