Ind vs SA, 2nd Test: Du Plesis, Philander help Proteas bolster lead
Centurion : South Africa rode on steady batting by Faf du Plesis and Vernon Philander to post 230/7 in their second innings at tea on the fourth day of their second cricket Test against India at the SuperSport Park Stadium here on Tuesday.
The duo batted together for most of the post-lunch session and added 45 runs between them as the hosts increased their lead to 258 runs.
Du Plesis remained unbeaten on 37 runs at the break with Kagiso Rabada yet to open his account at the other end.
Philander scored a patient 26 off 85 balls with two hits to the fence before being caught by Murali Vijay at square leg after hitting out at a short pitched delivery from Ishant Sharma.
Mohammed Shami was the most successful among the Indian bowlers with figures of 3/38. Fellow fast bowlers Ishant and Jasprit Bumrah claimed a couple of wickets each.
Starting the post-lunch session at 173/5, the South African tailenders batted patiently to frustrate the Indian bowlers.
Ishant bowled with pace and aggression, putting the Proteas batsmen under pressure on several occasions and was rewarded with a couple of wickets after lunch.
Philander was the very picture of resolute defence during his innings. But he eventually lost his patience and lashed out at an Ishant delivery which cost him his wicket.
Keshav Maharaj did not last very long before falling to another excellent delivery from Ishant just before tea.
Earlier, Shami took three wickets to pull India back into contention as they reduced South Africa to 173/5 at lunch.
Shami removed AB de Villiers (80), Dean Elgar (61) and Quinton de Kock (12) in the first session as the hosts managed to add 83 runs to their overnight score of 90/2.
The overnight partnership of de Villiers and Elgar threatened to take the game away from India. They had joined hands with South Africa struggling at 3/2 and on Tuesday, they continued from where they left off.
Both of them looked bright and maintained a very healthy rate in the first hour of the day with boundaries coming their way easily at regular intervals.
De Villiers was in control against the Indian bowlers while Elgar, who completed his ninth Test half-century, was resolute.
Shami broke the stand at 141 runs when a rising delivery kissed de Villiers' gloves for an easy catch to waiting wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel.
Soon, Elgar pulled one straight into the hands of Lokesh Rahul at deep square leg as the hosts lost their fourth wicket for 151 runs.
It could have been 151/5 had Rahul pulled off a half chance at short-leg off du Plessis, who was then on six. Du Plessis struggled against off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and managed to push it to the right of Rahul.
Shami continued his impressive spell as he got rid of de Kock, who edged an away-moving ball to Parthiv, leaving his side at 163/5.
Du Plessis and Philander then negated the Indian bowlers till the umpires called for lunch.
Brief scores: South Africa: 335 and 230/7 (AB de Villiers 80, Dean Elgar 61; Mohammed Shami 3/38, Ishant Sharma 2/40, Jasprit Bumrah 2/57) vs India: 307 in first innings at tea on Day 4.