Jasprit Bumrah leads India’s fightback on eventful day
Even when Keegan Petersen threatened to take the game away from the visitors with a gutsy 72, Jasprit Bumrah recorded his second five-wicket haul in South Africa to give India a 13-run first-innings lead.
On day two of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town, India came back admirably, and it was their ace bowler Bumrah who stole the show with yet another five-wicket haul.
Bumrah had his sixth five-for in his career, and his second in South Africa. He started day two with the wicket of Aiden Markram in only the second delivery after giving India an early breakthrough with the scalp of Dean Elgar at the close of day one.
Nightwatchman Keshav Maharaj hung out with Keegan Petersen for a while, playing a couple of lovely strokes over the off-side during his stay, but Umesh Yadav put an end to the partnership just as it was blossoming — he castled Maharaj, uprooting his middle stump.
After Maharaj’s dismissal, India needed quick wickets, but Petersen and Rassie van der Dussen steadied the ship for the hosts with a tenacious 67-run fourth-wicket stand. They got South Africa to lunch safely, but Van der Dussen died soon after for a total of 21. It was Umesh, once again, who gave India the upper hand.
Despite being dismissed, South Africa showed more tenacity. Temba Bavuma irritated the Indians during his stint in the middle, which spanned 16 overs and included a 47-run partnership with Petersen for the fifth wicket. The Proteas, on the other hand, had no relief once Mohammed Shami was reintroduced into the attack. The bowler had a great stint, claiming the wickets of Bavuma and Kyle Verreyne in the space of an over.
Petersen made every effort to bat with the tail and continue his strong run of form. He put together a 17-run combination with Marco Jansen, but Bumrah returned to the attack and dismissed Jansen and Petersen in consecutive overs.
India would have preferred to take the final two wickets with little fuss, but the South African tail added 31 runs to the total, with Kagiso Rabada batting 15 of them.
South Africa were knocked out for 210, a 13-run deficit, with Bumrah finishing his five-wicket haul with the wicket of Lungi Ngidi.
The Indian openers then had the task of ensuring that the team batted until stumps without suffering too much damage. Unfortunately for the visitors, the South African pacers had their tails up.
With the wickets of Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul in consecutive overs, Rabada and Jansen got the hosts back into the game. Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Virat Kohli, just as in the first innings, were tasked with repairing the innings. They did a great job, similar to the first innings, in seeing through an intense stretch of pace bowling and then keeping the runs ticking.
India enjoyed a 70-point lead by the time the stumps were pulled. For both teams, the third morning will be vital.