Another top class century from Ajinkya Rahane and a captain’s innings of 88 from Virat Kohli helped India post 267/5 in their 2nd innings and stretch their lead to a mammoth 480. After today’s hundred, Rahane joined the elite league of Indian batsmen who have scored hundreds in both innings of a Test match. Vijay Hazare, Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli are the other members of this club. Also, Rahane is the 9th batsman overall to score twin centuries in a Test match batting at no. 5 or lower. At Lunch on Day 4, South Africa were 5/1, needing 476 runs to win from 150 overs.
Morne Morkel rattles Indian top order, Virat Kohli and Rahane rebuild on Day 3:
After bowling South Africa out for 121, India dropped the follow-on and looked to extend their lead. Murali Vijay (3) fell early to Morne Morkel, thanks to a brilliant bouncer that clipped off the Indian opener’s glove. Rohit Sharma came in at no. 3 and had his stumps dislodged in the very first ball he faced. With India struggling at 8/2, Shikhar Dhawan (21) and Cheteshwar Pujara (28) played patiently and forged a 45-run partnership before the former was clean bowled by Morkel. Soon, Pujara also followed him after misjudging Imran Tahir’s leg break and having his off-stump knocked down.
The score read 57/4 with Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane on the crease. Both the batsmen negotiated the uneven bounce of the Delhi wicket with great presence of mind and began to take the Indian innings further. They batted out the entire day with the captain piling on 83 runs and Rahane just crossing the half-century mark for the 2nd time in the match. Just 190 runs were scored on Day 3 and an overnight declaration was expected as India now led by 403.
Kohli falls early on Day 4, India declare after Rahane hundred:
Contrary to expectations, India did not declare and began Day 4 at a brisk pace. However, Virat Kohli (88) could not contribute much and fell 12 short of a Test hundred at home after being trapped LBW by Kyle Abbott. Ajinkya Rahane then took the attack to the opposition as he played across the line and hammered sixes against the turn. He got to his century after nudging a flighted delivery to square leg and India declared at 267/5, setting the visitors a target of 481 runs for victory.
Elgar falls cheaply at the stroke of Lunch:
South Africa faced 5 overs before Lunch and Ravichandran Ashwin managed to get rid of Dean Elgar in the penultimate over of the first session. A mistimed drive resulted in a thick outside edge and the ball was safely pouched by Ajinkya Rahane at first slip. At Lunch, South Africa were 5/1.
Match Summary: Upto Lunch, Day 4
India 334 and 267/5 declared (Ajinkya Rahane 100*, Virat Kohli 88, Morkel 3-51) vs South Africa 121 and 5-1 (Dean Elgar 4, R Ashwin 1-5)
South Africa need 476 runs to win.