Ind vs SA: India took a massive 326-run first-innings lead after South Africa tailenders Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander fought back by posting a 109-run partnership for the ninth wicket. Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers for India grabbing four wickets. Yadav, Shami & Jadeja were also among the wickets as South Africa were bundled for 275.
The visitors resumed their innings at 36 on Day 3 of the second Test which is being played at the MCA stadium in Pune. But just after adding five runs to their overnight tally, nightwatchman Nortje edged a Mohammed Shami delivery which was caught by skipper Virat Kohli. His wicket was followed by that of de Bruyn, who nicked one to the wicket-keeper, who took an exceptional catch off pacer Umesh Yadav's bowling.
Quinton de Kock joined South African captain Faf du Plessis at the crease and both started building the innings. Both of them started off positively and got a partnership going. They attacked the Indian bowlers scoring some boundaries with the Proteas skipper bringing up his fifty. The duo put on a 75-run partnership before de Kock was bowled by a beautiful ball from Ashwin just at the stroke of lunch. South Africa went into lunch at 136 for 6, still trailing India's first innings score by 465 runs.
South Africa resumed their innings after the lunch break. The visitors' captain Faf du Plessis & S Muthusamy were at the crease. India chose spin to start with Jadeja and Ashwin in the attack operating from both ends. In the 45th over, Jadeja turned one into the rough and caught Muthusamy in the crease, who offered no shot, send him back to the pavilion. Philander joined his captain at the crease after that. The duo started steadying the innings by meticulously playing the spinners. But India's numero uno off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin slipped a straight one to the South African captain who was expecting it to turn. The ball kissed Du Plessis' bat before being gobbled up by Rahane at slip, thus ending a fighting inning.
Philander and Maharaj ensured that the visitors did not lose any more wickets. South Africa went into the tea break at 197 for the loss of 8 wickets. Both the tailenders showed great spirit and fought back by stitching a 109-run partnership. Keshav Maharaj registered his maiden fifty in the process. The gutsy partnership was ended by Ashwin who took the wicket of Maharaj who scored a gritty 72. Rabada perished soon after to an Ashwin delivery and the South African innings ended at 275.
India are in a commanding position at the end of day's play. The question remains, will India enforce follow-on or not? India have plenty of time to decide that whereas Proteas have a lot to ponder upon.