Amla makes lone stand as South Africa close in on India total
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Hashim Amla forged a lone hand for South Africa as his unbeaten half-century helped his side to 143 for six at tea on the second day of the third and final Test at the Wanderers on Thursday.
South Africa trail India’s first innings total by 44 runs on a wicket that is offering pace, bounce and lateral movement to the tourists’ all-seam attack, conditions they have exploited superbly.
Amla (54 not out) reached his 37th Test half-century, in addition to 28 tons, and will resume in the evening session with all-rounder Vernon Philander (13 not out) as they seek to earn their side a precious lead in a low-scoring game.
South Africa have already claimed an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, but are seeking a first ever clean-sweep against India.
The home side resumed after lunch on 81 for three, but added just 11 runs before an out-of-sorts AB de Villiers (5) flashed a drive at an in-swinging delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3-34) and lost his middle stump.
Captain Faf du Plessis (8) also misjudged a seaming delivery from Jasprit Bumrah (2-34) as he left a ball that cannoned into the top of off-stump.
South Africa looked to hit their way out of trouble, but Quinton de Kock’s (8) poor series continued when he tried to attack the bowling, only succeeding in getting a thick inside edge off Bumrah that was easily taken by wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.
Apart from Amla, none of the frontline batsmen showed the same circumspection as nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada (30), who batted for over two hours to frustrate the India bowlers in the morning session before he was out five minutes before lunch.
Rabada had played some superb shots before edging Ishant Sharma (1-28) to Ajinkya Rahane at third slip.
India had been dismissed for 187 on the opening day.