India eyes final-day victory in 1st test in South Africa

·2-min read

CENTURION, South Africa (AP) — India will go in search of a final-day victory in the first test after Jasprit Bumrah's two late wickets saw South Africa struggle to 94-4 at stumps on the fourth day on Wednesday, chasing a daunting 305 to win.

Bumrah bowled Rassie van der Dussen (11) with a ball that cut back sharply to hit the off stump while van der Dussen didn't even play a shot at it. Soon after, Bumrah sent a yorker down to also bowl Keshav Maharaj (8) with what turned out to be the last delivery of the day.

Aiden Markram (1) and Keegan Petersen (17) were also back in the dressing room and India has three full sessions remaining at SuperSport Park in Centurion to wrap things up and take the lead in the three-test series.

India is on its latest quest for a first test series victory in South Africa and was in a strong position to take an initial step toward achieving that.

India was bowled out for just 174 in its second innings earlier in the day but still had enough runs in the bank after making 327 batting first and bowling South Africa out for 197 in its first innings.

South Africa captain Dean Elgar was 52 not out at stumps and had been the backbone of South Africa's second-innings resistance after battling his way through 122 deliveries.

Elgar and van der Dussen ground out a 40-run partnership for the third wicket but Bumrah's two strikes at the end of the day tilted the match firmly in India's favor.

South Africa faces the prospect of getting another 211 runs on a wearing and tricky pitch in Centurion or batting out an entire day for a draw, with a close eye on the weather. The entire second day of the test was washed out by rain.

Rishabh Pant top-scored for India with 34 in its second innings, while Kagiso Rabada and test debutant Marco Jansen took four wickets each for South Africa to limit the damage.

Their performance with the ball gave the home team a sliver of hope that it might save the test but that was hanging by a thread by the end of the day.

All three tests will be played without fans because of COVID-19 and specifically the spread of the omicron variant in South Africa, where it was first identified. Organizers had initially planned to allow in a limited number of spectators but that was foiled by the emergence of the new variant.


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