Bumrah, Bhuvi lead India's fightback at Wanderers

[caption id="attachment_62164" align="aligncenter" width="580"]WhatsApp Image 2018-01-25 at 9.22.55 PM Jasprit Bumrah took his first five-for in Tests today. Image Source: BCCI[/caption]

Internet Desk: Jasprit Bumrah’s maiden five-wicket Test haul and a magnificent exhibition of new-ball bowling from Bhuvneshwar Kumar catapulted India back into contention on the second day at The Wanderers, as the final match of the series looked set for an early finish. Hashim Amla’s gritty 61, and vital hands from Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander allowed South Africa to eke out a seven-run lead, but by stumps, India had moved to 49/1 in their second innings, a lead of 42.

Rabada, who had come in as nightwatchman the previous evening, was in no mood for a cameo, even as he lost Dean Elgar in the seventh over of the morning. Worked over repeatedly by Bhuvneshwar bowling round the wicket, Elgar finally edged one that slanted across him from over the wicket. In the minutes that followed, with the pitch facilitating extravagant seam movement and inconsistent bounce, Amla and Rabada often struggled to put bat to ball. With Ishant Sharma applying the tourniquet at the other end, Bhuvneshwar had figures of 9-7-4-2 at one stage.

But once those two were taken off, the pressure was quickly released. Mohammed Shami came on with a gift of five leg-side wides, while Rabada twice clipped Bumrah through mid-wicket. Amla top-edged a pull over the slips off Bumrah, but followed up with a lovely back-foot punch through point.

When Virat Kohli, the India captain, went back to Bhuvneshwar, an increasingly confident Rabada stepped out and tonked him over cover for four. Ishant was also recalled, and a huge lbw shout against Amla was reviewed by India, only for replays to show the ball grazing the bails – umpire’s call.

The 50-run partnership came up in 95 balls, and Amla had the crowd purring even more with a beautiful cover drive off Bhuvneshwar. Then, after being struck a painful blow under the ribs, he glanced Ishant for four, before tucking one neatly through mid-wicket.

Just when it looked like India’s frustration would encompass the lunch break as well, Ishant squared up Rabada for Ajinkya Rahane to take a fine catch at gully. Rabada had batted 130 minutes and 84 balls for his 30, adding 64 with Amla.

From 81/3 at lunch, South Africa’s innings quickly lost its moorings. AB de Villiers survived a confident leg-before shout that India didn’t review – replays showed he would have been out – before Amla, then on 33, survived another review thanks to umpire’s call. Ian Gould had turned down the original appeal thinking there was an inside edge.

De Villiers had no answer, however, to a dramatic in-swinger from Bhuvneshwar that followed a parabolic shape to take out the middle stump (92/4). A similar sort of delivery from Bumrah sent back Faf du Plessis for just 8, as he opted to shoulder arms (107/5). And when Quinton de Kock was caught behind off the inside edge, Bumrah had a second and India glimpsed a lead (125/6).

That they didn’t get it was down to Amla and Philander. Philander, like Bhuvneshwar the previous afternoon, played his shots from the outset, and South Africa went to tea at 143/6, with Amla having raised his half-century from 98 balls.

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