Ranchi rains India runs‚ SA wickets
A monsoon of Indian runs followed by the clatter‚ like gravel on a tin roof‚ of South African wickets.
The second day of the third men’s Test in Ranchi on Sunday stuck to the script used for much of the rest of the series.
Virat Kohli declared after India piled up 497/9. Then South Africa shambled to 9/2 in the five overs they faced before bad light ended play.
Worse‚ the players dismissed are Dean Elgar‚ who has scored the most runs and faced the most balls for the visitors in the series‚ and Quinton de Kock‚ whose promotion to an opening berth was the grandest part of the plan to cure the virus that has struck South Africa’s batting.
Both gloved catches to the wicketkeeper having tried to leave short‚ aggressive deliveries bowled by Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav.
Other South Africans will be relieved to know the gloom cut short Sunday’s proceedings by 34 overs: who knows how many more wickets would have fallen had they been bowled.
Rohit Sharma converted his overnight 117 not out into 212‚ his first Test double century.
Sharma‚ who made 176 and 127 in the first Test in Visakhapatnam‚ took his aggregate for the series to 529 — more than any other India batter has scored in a rubber against South Africa.
Having reached three figures with a six off Dane Piedt on Saturday‚ Sharma went to his second hundred with a pulled six off Lungi Ngidi to the 13th ball after lunch.
Ajinkya Rahane resumed on 83 and forged to 115 before being caught behind off George Linde in the 10th over before lunch to end a stand of 267‚ a record for India’s fourth wicket against South Africa.
The Indians attacked overtly after Rahane’s dismissal‚ scoring 191 runs in the 41 overs they faced before the declaration — 4.66 an over.
Umesh Yadav led the way‚ smashing the first two balls he faced — bowled by Linde — for six and following that with three more maximums in the debutant left-arm spinner’s next over. Yadav ran only a single in his 10-ball 31.
Linde‚ who was summoned from South Africa after Keshav Maharaj injured a shoulder during the second Test in Pune‚ bowled with discipline in his 31 overs — more than any other member of the attack — and took 4/133.
Off-spinner Piedt‚ Linde’s Cobras teammate‚ will be less satisfied with his lot.
He went into the match having sweated it out for 38 overs for his return of 1/209 in the first Test‚ and the 20 sixes he has conceded in the rubber is the most by any bowler in any Test series.
Piedt‚ who was also hit for nine fours in the innings‚ sent down a dozen of his 18 overs before he bowled a maiden.
He smiled broadly as his sixth straight scoreless delivery was confirmed and accepted Elgar’s two-handed high five. Then he reeled off another two maidens.
Piedt finished with 1/101 and might have got the joke that he shouldn’t be wearing 63 on his back. Instead he should wear No. 64.
Because that’s what he has bowled in this series: sixes and fours.