A start-stop final session stalls India's momentum

Rohit Sharma

Jasprit Bumrah's length deliveries created problems off the deck, but AB de Villiers (50 not out) and Dean Elgar bailed the side before rain and bad light ruined evening session. He continued to wait for the bad balls to score off and dug out the good ones as Elgar played the ideal second fiddle. A batsman of high pedigree, de Villiers struck six fours as he had answers to whatever Ishant, Bumrah and Ashwin bowled at him.

It resumed for another 27 minutes under gloomy skies with the floodlights on before bad light ended the day.

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has been wearing his heart on his sleeve, fiercely celebrating every fall of wicket and even his own gutsy century but South African cricket team pacer Morne Morkel said they are not getting too worked up seeing his reactions that nearly border on being inflammatory at times.

This was not the first time Virat showed a handsome gesture for Anushka, he has done it before in a match against Sri Lanka at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad where he passed on a flying kiss to Anushka after smashing a century.

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The tall, powerful seamer has shown excellent form in domestic cricket to earn his call-up to the test side in the place of the injured Dale Steyn, having made his Twenty20 worldwide debut against Sri Lanka 12 months ago, and he recorded figures of 1-26 in nine overs on Sunday for a satisfactory start to his test career. He was just flawless on his way to his 21st Test century. Virat's 153-run knock came in 217 balls with 15 boundaries. The first ball from the Morne Morkel over was pitched outside the off-stump and despite being troubled by the pacer in Cape Town, Kohli backed his instinct and drove Morkel past the cover fielder.

Kohli forged a crucial 71-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Ravichandran Ashwin (38) to stabilise the innings. He was sent back by Kohli and then committed the cricketing sin of failing to ground either his foot or his bat as Vernon Philander's throw hit the stumps.

Kohli reached the three-figure mark in the 67th over when he worked first ball of Lungi Ngidi's 12th over towards mid-on. Morkel explained that they did not consider bowling straighter because they regard that as playing to India's strengths.

Kohli, while trying to pace up the innings at his end, was then caught by de Villiers at long-on off Morkel to end the Indian innings. While there were as many good balls that could have taken out Ashwin any time, the 31-year-old made most of the scoring opportunities, striking as many as seven fours in his 54-ball stay. He supported Kohli perfectly at the other end to put pressure on the opponents. South Africa won the first Test in Cape Town by 72 runs and lead the three-Test series 1-0.

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