Cricket-Kohli, Pant steady India after losing early wickets against South Africa
There may have been fears that India would suffer another batting collapse as they have in each of the other tests in the series, but Kohli and Pant weathered a barrage of short-pitch bowling and ensured their side edge towards a winning lead. The series is level at 1-1 after India won the first test in Pretoria before South Africa bounced back to claim the second.
- South Africa
Captain Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant have steered India to 130 for four at lunch on day three of the decisive third and final test at Newlands on Thursday, a precious lead of 143 runs on a difficult batting wicket.
Resuming on 57 for two, India lost wickets in the first two overs of the day, but Kohli (28 not out) and Pant (51 not out) have added an unbeaten partnership of 72 to keep the rampant home pace attack at bay. A lead of anything over 200 will be considerable on this pitch, which has seam movement and is starting to show steep bounce as it hardens under the Cape Town sun.
A fourth innings target of over 200 has been successfully chased only three times in 133 years at Newlands as India seek to claim a first ever series win in South Africa. The home side started the morning with two quick wickets, Cheteshwar Pujara (9) brilliantly caught at leg slip by a diving Keegan Petersen off the second ball of the day from Marco Jansen (2-25).
Ajinkya Rahane (1) was then caught on the glove as he tried to fend off a Kagiso Rabada (2-45) delivery and although the ball was dropped by wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne, slip fielder Dean Elgar was on hand to grab the rebound. There may have been fears that India would suffer another batting collapse as they have in each of the other tests in the series, but Kohli and Pant weathered a barrage of short-pitch bowling and ensured their side edge towards a winning lead.
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