JOHANNESBURG – Virat Kohli needs just six runs after tea to become the first Indian player to notch up seven Test double hundreds as India continued its domination of the Proteas in the second Test in Pune on Friday.
India were 473/4 at tea, with the Indian captain in dominant form looking to drive home the advantage he first gained by winning the toss and choosing to bat on Thursday. South Africa’s bowlers have had a few small windows to try and make breakthroughs, two of those with the new balls in the opening sessions of the first two days, but bad luck and watchful Indian batting meant they couldn’t take advantage in those periods.
And in the second session on Friday, Kohli made sure to make them pay, swatting the bowling to all aparts as India raced away. His 194 has included 28 fours and he’s shared partnerships of 178 for the fourth wicket with Ajinkye Rahane and 97 with Ravi Jadeja, who was not out on 25 at tea.
The only wicket to fall in the session was that of Rahane, who, after scoring 59, got the faintest of outside edges to a delivery from Keshav Maharaj, giving Quinton de Kock an easy catch. It was Maharaj’s 100th Test wicket, making him the 17th South African player to achieve that landmark, and just the fifth spinner from this country to do so. In the process he became the second fastest South African spinner to pick up 100 wickets, doing so in 27 matches, five more than Hugh Tayfield in 1955.
Cricket SA congratulated Maharaj on his achievement. “He has been a key member of the Standard Bank Proteas attack from the time of his debut against Australia under difficult circumstances when the team was left with an effective three-man attack after the injury to Dale Steyn,” said CSA’s Acting Director of Cricket, Corrie van Zyl.
It was however the only highlight in what was another frustrating session for the tourists, with edges continuing to fly close to fielders, but not into their hands.
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Rabada bowled a superb six over spell after lunch beating the outside edge of Kohli’s bat and had a shout for lbw against the India captain turned down. But the frustration for the South Africans in not being able to make the breakthrough was illustrated in a fiery exchange between Rabada and South Africa’s wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock, after Rabada had thrown the ball towards de Kock, who didn’t see it and Rabada conceded a run off his bowling as a result.
At the end of the over Faf du Plessis had to step in between the pair at one point pushing Rabada away from De Kock and telling both to calm down.
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