Cape Town, Jan 12 (MNN) A five-wicket haul by Jasprit Bumrah helped India gain a first-innings lead of 13 runs against South Africa on day two of the third and final Test here on Wednesday.
The superb bowling performance by Jasprit Bumrah came as Keegan Petersen threatened to take the game away from the visitors with a gritty 72.
India fought back exceptionally well on day two, and it was ace pacer Bumrah who stole the show.
This was seventh five-for overall for Jasprit Bumrah, and his second in South Africa.
Having given India an early breakthrough with the scalp of Dean Elgar at the fag end of day one, he started day two with the wicket of Aiden Markram in just the second delivery of the morning.
Nightwatchman Keshav Maharaj hung around with Keegan Petersen for a while and played a couple of delightful shots through the off-side during his stay, but just as the partnership blossomed, it was brought to an end by Umesh Yadav – he had Maharaj castled Maharaj, uprooting his middle stump.
India were in the hunt for quick wickets after Maharaj’s dismissal, but Petersen and Rassie van der Dussen steadied the ship for the hosts with a gritty 67-run stand for the fourth wicket.
They took South Africa safely through to Lunch but Van der Dussen perished soon after for 21. Once again, it was Umesh who gave India the breakthrough.
Despite the dismissal, South Africa displayed more grit. Temba Bavuma annoyed the Indians during his stay in the middle, ranging over 16 overs, during the course of which he added 47 runs for the fifth wicket with Petersen.
But there was no respite for the Proteas once Mohammed Shami was brought back into the attack. The pacer produced an excellent spell and claimed the wickets of Bavuma and Kyle Verreyne within an over.
Petersen tried his best to bat with the tail and carry his rich vein of form forward. He built a brief partnership of 17 runs with Marco Jansen, but Bumrah came back into the attack and dismissed Jansen and Petersen in back-to-back overs.
India would have liked to claim the last two wickets without much further ado, but the South African tail managed to add 31 more runs to the total, with Kagiso Rabada scoring 15 of those.
South Africa were ultimately bowled out for 210, a deficit of 13, with Bumrah completing his five-wicket haul with the final wicket of Lungi Ngidi.
It was then the turn of the Indian openers to ensure the team batted through till stumps without suffering much damage. Unfortunately for the visitors, the South African pacers had their tails up.
Rabada and Jansen brought the hosts back into the game with the wickets of Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul in consecutive overs.
Like the first innings, the responsibility to repair the innings was on Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Virat Kohli. Much like the first innings, they did a commendable job, first to see through an intense spell of pace bowling, and then to keep the runs ticking.
By the time the stumps were drawn, India had a healthy lead of 70. The third morning will be crucial for both sides.