Ind vs SA, 4th Test: Dogged India deflate South Africa

Published Dec 6, 2015, 7:02 am IST
Updated Mar 26, 2019, 8:28 pm IST
Kohli, Rahane steady ship after early wickets; Morkel shines for Proteas with an impressive 3-29
India's captain Virat Kohli, left punches gloves with Ajinkya Rahane as Rahane reaches a half-century on the third day of the fourth test cricket match between India and South Africa in New Delhi. (Photo: AP)
 India's captain Virat Kohli, left punches gloves with Ajinkya Rahane as Rahane reaches a half-century on the third day of the fourth test cricket match between India and South Africa in New Delhi. (Photo: AP)
New DelhiVirat Kohli ensured his first Test at home as skipper would be a memorable one with an unbeaten 83 to carry India to 190/4 in their second innings of the fourth and final Test against South Africa here on Saturday. At stumps, the hosts had their noses firmly ahead  in the contest having extended their lead to 403.
If one was expecting an early declaration, that was not to be as the hosts decided to bat through the day. Down at 57/4 in 31.1 overs, Kohli and first innings hero Ajinkya Rahane (52 batting, 152 balls) played dogged cricket to stitch an unbroken stand of 133 (299 deliveries) for the fifth wicket. 
This was the highest partnership in this series for any wicket. South Africa, who had capitulated to 121 in their first innings after India’s 334, came up a much-improved show on the day but the early damage was too much to cover.
Fast bowler Morne Morkel (3/29) was on fire early in the day, making good use of morning conditions and extracting reverse swing with his searing deliveries. He had set India — who decided to bat on rather than enforce the follow on — back early with twin strikes to leave the hosts at 8/2 in their second innings.
Murali Vijay was unlucky when a rising delivery hit his arm guard and was pouched by wicketkeeper Dane Vilas. Disappointment was written across his face as the opener walked back. Rohit Sharma was promoted to number three ahead of Cheteshwar Pujara, but the move did notthing to add to the batsman’s confidence. His torrid run in the series continued as he saw his off-stump uprooted by Morkel on the very first ball he faced.
The hosts though were never in any real trouble with a 213-run first innings lead keeping them on top throughout. South Africa’s bowlers deserved credit for keeping things tight.  
Birthday boy Shikhar Dhawan was patience personified, labouring his way to 28 off 79 balls as India went into lunch at 52/2. He fell to a delightful yorker by Morkel. Kohli had his moment of disagreement with the umpire when he was given out while batting on 5. The skipper tried to nick an Imran Tahir (1/49) delivery and South Africa’s appeal for a catch got umpire Bruce Oxenford’s nod.
There seemed no edge, and Kohli stood his ground. The skipper was agitated and his body language was aggressive. Hands on hips, Kohli stared at the umpire before walking away but was recalled when replays showed it to be a no ball.
Kohli and Rahane then got down to the task bringing up their half centuries in the day’s final session. The duo appeared in no hurry and showed tremendous patience, wearing the opposition out. South Africa now have a huge task ahead of them. And even though they still have two days in hand, Hashim Amla & Co. would have slim hopes to making a match out of it at a venue where the highest successful chase has been 276 by the West Indies in 1987/88.
India (I innings): 334
South Africa (I innings): 121
India (II innings): M Vijay c Vilas b Morkel 3, S Dhawan b Morkel 21, R Sharma b Morkel 0, C Pujara b Imran Tahir 28, V Kohli(batting) 83, A Rahane(batting) 52.
Extras (lb 2, nb1) 3    
Total (4 wickets; 81 overs) 190
FoW: 1-4, 2-8, 3-53, 4-57 
Bowling: M Morkel 17-6-29-3, K Abbott 17-6-38-0, D Piedt 18-1-53-0, Imran Tahir 21-4-49-1, D Elgar 8-1-19-0




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