Virat Kohli became only the eight Indian to score a Test ton in South Africa, on Wednesday. As India look to ride upon his solid knock of 119, hosts South Africa will look to target precisely this and play spoilsports with a quick turnaround.
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21.36 (IST): What a busy day of cricket this has been! After the South African bowlers had wrapped up the second half of the Indian line-up early in the morning, the hosts would have believed they had regained momentum. But a determined and spirited performance from the triuvirate of Zaheer Khan (1 for 72), Ishant Sharma (3 for 64) and Mohammed Shami (2 for 48) helped India put constant pressure on the South African batsmen. It paid off when they picked up five wickets for just 16 runs in the final session as the hosts slipped from 130 for 1 to 146 for six. Vernon Philander and Faf du Plessis provided the rescue work with an unbeaten 67-run stand, to take the team's total past 200 and reduce the deficit toÂ and put the match in balance. After months of criticsm for their toothless bowling attack, the Indian contingent, led ably by Zaheer have turned it around. Day 3 has the potential to make or break the chances of a victory for both these sides.
21.35 (IST): That's the end of the second day! South Africa finish on 213 for six with Vernon Philander (48 not out) and Faf du Plessis (17 not out) in the middle.
21.25 (IST): Oh dear...Rohit Sharma puts down a straightforward chance. Shami puts Du Plessis in an awkward position and induces a thick outside edge that was headed straight into Rohit Sharma's hand. Rohit however, failed to pouch it, giving Du Plessis a life.
21.19 (IST): FACTOID: Philander has a Test highest score of 74 against Pakistan, second best of 61 vs England. At the moment, he is on 41 and in all likelihood could reach his highest score.
21.17 (IST): Ishant continues to flirt with danger area onÂ the wicket. Remember, he was already warned before. Replays show he was within touching distance of landing on it again.
21.16 (IST): Ishant Sharma replaces Zaheer Khan. Dhoni will hope for another wicket before the close of play.
21.13 (IST): 200 comes up for South Africa. At 146 for six, many would have expected them to cave before reaching the milestone. Philander and Du Plessis have done well to take their seventh wicket partnership in excess of 50 runs. With just around half an hour's play remaining, their aim will be to finish the day without adding to the wickets column.
21.02 (IST): Philander and Du Plessis's repair work has been good so far. They've countered Indian pacers and forced Dhoni into breaking the monotony and turning to off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
20.52 (IST): Zaheer is back and is welcomed by Philander with a boundary. Bowling from round the wicket, Zaheer bowls a full delivery on his legs and Philander does will to guide to the square leg boundary.
20.50 (IST): Ashwin starts from round the wicket. Will be interesting how Philander, who has played his shots, treat him.
20.49 (IST): Ravichandran Ashwin comes into the attack. Only his third over of the game.
20.45 (IST): Philander and Faf du Plessis are slowly fighting their way out of the wreckage caused by the Indian pacers in the final session. Philander in fact, has outscored Du Plessis.
20.40 (IST): What a sight! Zaheer puts his arm around Shami's shoulders on his way back to his run up mark, cheering him up after he conceded a boundary. Talk about being the leader of a pace attack!
20.39 (IST): After surviving a close chance, Philander pulls one ball from Shami to get a boundary and gives the crowd a reason to cheer. South Africa 167/6.
20.35 (IST): Inside edge! A testing length delivery from Ishant that nips back into Philander who takes a swing at it and is lucky to survive as the ball misses the stumps by a whisker.
20.19 (IST): FACTOID: The last three series between these two sides have all ended in a 1-1 deadlock. Looking how India is going at the moment, Dhoni will believe he has a chance to create history. Long, long way to go though.
20.05 (IST): India go up again! But it has been turned down. Philander reached out to a delivery outside the off-stump. An inside edge looked like it took a bump off Philander's shoes and carried to Shami. Replays suggest there was bump on the ground before coming off his pads.
20.03 (IST): The Indian batsmen had put on just 25 runs for five wickets in the first session. The final session has seen South Africa lose five wickets for just 16 runs.
19.56 (IST): Shami strikes twice now! First, a full delivery draws Duminy to play at it and the outside goes straight to Murali Vijay at first slip. A delivery later, Shami sees the back of the dangerous AB de Villiers by trapping him leg before with a ball that skidded off the wicket. What a comeback for India, this! South Africa 146/6, trail by 134 runs.
19.41 (IST): Ishant is cranking up the heat on new batsman JP Duminy. First he angled the ball away from the left-hander and got an outside edge and the followed it up with one that held its middle and leg line, catching Duminy off-guard.
19.42 (IST): FACTOID: Zaheer Khan has now dismissed Graeme Smith on 14 occasions across all formats.
19.38 (IST): To Ishant's credit, he has varied his length very well and effectively today. Assistance from the wicket has given him that bit of confidence to put all his energy into each delivery.
19.28 (IST): Zaheer has got his bunny! Smith's perseverance comes to an end. He is trapped leg before on a full delivery that had a hint of late in-swing on it. Smith departs for 68, South Africa 130 for 4.
19.26 (IST): FACTOID: Jacques Kallis is now the joint third South African with most number of ducks in Tests.
19.22 (IST): Ishant strikes twice in two balls! He first squares up Amla to knock back his off-stump and then follows it up with a good delivery to Kallis first up, to trap him in front of the stumps. The delivery to Kallis was much fuller and was moving into the right hander. Kallis tried to flick it but couldn't connect and the ball struck him in line. South Africa are 130 for 3.
19.10 (IST): Top-edge! A bit of extra bounce for Ishant there! Amla tried to cut the ball past point but the extra bounce resulted in the ball flying off the top-edge, over the slip fielders to the third man boundary.
19.05 (IST): And the saga of beating the bat continues. But this time, Zaheer beats Smith's bat and follows it up with a poor delivery outside the off-stump which is duly sent to the cover boundary by Smith.
19.04 (IST): The final session is underway, Zaheer has the ball as expected.
18.43 (IST): The session began with Petersen's wicket but Smith and Amla have rebuilt the innings very well. They've added an unbeaten stand of 81 runs for the second wicket. Smith was tested by trioka of Zaheer, Ishant and Shami but he overcame that to register his half-century. Amla, at the other end has been his able ally. South Africa go in for tea, trailing the Indian total by 162 runs.
18.29 (IST): Graeme Smith brings up his 38th half-century in Tests with a boundary off Ashwin. He may have looked extremely nervy throughout, but he has held his ground and retained his wicket. He'd hope this mini milestone eggs him on to play with more confidence.
18.26 (IST): Dhoni brings Ravichandran Ashwin into the attack.
17.59 (IST): Shami bowls and Dhoni brings in a short leg for Amla. Expect a few short deliveries.
17.53 (IST): Now Ishant Sharma comes around the wicket to Graeme Smith. He has extracted most amount of bounce among the three Indian pacers. Will be interesting how he couples that with a delivery that will be angled into Smith but move a tad bit away.
17.47 (IST): Smith can heave a sigh of relief as he dispatches an over-pitched delivery from Ishant to the straight boundary. He really needs a move on from his tentative gameplay so far.
17.45 (IST): For the moment, however, Smith cannot put bat to balls that are moving slightly away from him.
17.40 (IST): The Indian bowling across both sessions has been highly disciplined. All three pacers have kept their line and length going to deny the South African batsmen easy runs. A wicket or two before the end of the second session could really peg the advantage in the visitors' favour. Smith, on the other hand, needs to dig in. It has been a scratchy stay for him at the wicket so far and he needs to keep that going for as long as he can.
17.33 (IST): Ishant returns and he too gets the ball to move away from Smith and beat his bat. He gets a warning from the umpire for running on the pitch during his follow-through.
17.30 (IST): From the other end its Shami who keeps his disciplined line going to beat Hashim Amla's outside edge.
17.25 (IST): A couple of later, Zaheer gets Smith to edge another one, only this time is flies wide of the slip cordon to reach the thirdman boundary.
17.17 (IST): Smith survives! Zaheer finally manages to induce an outside edge. But it falls just short of Ravichandran Ashwin at first slip.
17.14 (IST): Zaheer is teasing Smith here. He is bowling a bit wide, inviting the South African skipper to drive him through the off-side. Smith, who took the bait, played and missed on the first ball. The second time however, he let the ball go to Dhoni. Riveting duel, this.
17.11 (IST): The ball continues to keep low as a length delivery from Ishant, that was let alone by Amla took a couple of bounces before hitting Dhoni below the knee roll.
17.05 (IST): Zaheer's impeccable line and length against Smith continues.
17.03 (IST): Hashim Amla walks out at No. 3.
16.57 (IST): India bag their first wicket! Ishant Sharma bowls in line to trap Alviro Petersen in front of the stumps. It was pitched on off and was moving into to Petersen who tried to play the ball on the leg side but missed. The umpire had no doubts in his mind and raised his finger straightaway. Petersen falls for 21, South Africa 37 for 1.
16.53 (IST): Zaheer Khan continues and comes around the wicket to the right-handed Petersen.
16.48 (IST): Ishant starts off with a short ball and Petersen pulls him over the in-field for a four.
16.45 (IST): Zaheer's experience showing here. After a couple of deliveries leaving Smith, he finish the over with one that comes back into him. Smith is clearly taken by surprise but he manages to bring the bat down on time. In fact, the ball runs down the ground for a four. South Africa 26 for 0.
16.44 (IST): Zaheer continues to trouble Smith with the ball that leaves the left-hander. The South African skipper is living dangerously.
16.42 (IST): Teams return after lunch. Zaheer has the ball once again.
16.05 (IST): The first session comes to an end with South Africa on 22 for no loss. After bowling out India early in the first session, the South African openers have done well not to concede a wicket. They have added 22 runs. A lot of hardwork awaits the tourists' bowlers in the next session.
15.56 (IST): Another appeal from Zaheer! This time for a leg before against Petersen. The umpire seemed disinterested as the ball pitched outside the leg stump.
15.45 (IST): The Indian bowlers are getting uneven bounce here. There are deliveries that are keeping low. The one that got Smith on his knee took him by surprise because of the low bounce. Can we soon expect cracks to show up? Ravichandran Ashwin will sure hope so.
15.41 (IST): Just short! Smith has been rattled by that ball that hit his knee roll. In the very next delivery, an outside edge almost carries to the gully fielder. He survives. South Africa 10-0 in 5 overs.
15.39 (IST): Graeme Smith is hit on the knee roll by a Zaheer Khan delivery and he falls to the ground. Smith has looked tentative against Zaheer today. He gets some medical attention.
15.33 (IST): Zaheer's line has been a bit off so far. He has strayed down the leg to the right hander, giving away an easy opportunity to rotate strike and keep the pressure on him.
15.31 (IST): Good start from Shami. He is getting the new ball to pitch on the off-stump and move slightly away from the Petersen, causing a few problems for the right hander.
15.22 (IST): Mohammed Shami shares the new ball with Zaheer.
15.19 (IST): FACTOID: Zaheer starts the game on 295 Test wickets.
15.17 (IST): Big shout for LBW! A delivery from Zaheer raps Smith on the pads below the knee roll. Umpire shakes his head. Zaheer will be looking to extend his count of getting Smith's wicket. Currently it stands at six times in nine matches.
15.15 (IST): Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen walk out. Zaheer Khan has the new ball.
15.06 (IST): India's innings comes to a swift end on the second day's morning as Morne Morkel knocks back Mohammed Shami's middle stump to dismiss the hosts for 280. South Africa have well and truly regained momentum after allowing Virat Kohli to run away with the honours on Day One.
14.59 (IST): Indian innings is on a downward spiral here! Philander strikes for the third time today as he squares up Ishant Sharma and gets the ball to beat his bat and clip the top of off-stump. India 278-9.
14.53 (IST): The responsibility to take India's total to as far as possible is now on Ravichandran Ashwin's broad shoulders.
14.52 (IST): What a start for South Africa! Philander strikes twice in as many deliveries as he traps Zaheer Khan in front of the stumps first ball. India 264 for eight.
14.46 (IST): Another wicket! Rahane's fight ends at 47. A back of the length delivery from Vernon Philander forced Rahane to play at it and an edge carried straight to AB de Villiers behind the stumps. India in trouble here. 264 for seven
14.41 (IST): After bowling a handful of deliveries outside the off-stump, Morne Morkel gets one to pitch on line and move slightly away from Dhoni, who failed to stay away from nicking it. He departs for 19. India 264 for six.
14.29 (IST): After a couple of testing deliveries, Morkel strays down the leg, allowing Rahane to dab it behind for a couple of runs. He moves on to 49.
14.27 (IST): Morkel beats the outside edge of Rahane's bat after squaring him up a bit.
14.25 (IST): It has been a slow start for Rahane and Dhoni here, just six runs coming from the first six overs. Morne Morkel comes into the attack now.
14.22 (IST): Meanwhile, Dhoni is batting a few yards outside the crease, perhaps to counter early swing and negate the chance of a leg before dismissal.
14.18 (IST): Steyn vs Rahane could turn out to be an interesting contest. Rahane has looked solid in his defence and has hardly caved in to the short-pitched deliveries offered by the pacer. Will be a big test of character for Rahane.
14.15 (IST): Vernon Philander appeals for a leg before against MS Dhoni but the umpire turns it down. The ball hit him on the back leg but wasn't in line of the stumps and height would have been an issue too. India 261 for 5.
14.14 (IST): A cracking shot off the back foot from Rahane to bring up the first boundary of the morning. He is now three runs away from his first half-century in Tests.
14.06 (IST): Big day for Rahane. He started with a solid knock of 43 on the first day but the hard work will be to make the start count. Needless to say, the hosts will be gunning for early wickets.
14.02 (IST): Dale Steyn starts the proceedings for the hosts on the second day.
13:40 (IST) WEATHER UPDATE: With 20 minutes left for the start of Day 2, there is the slight chance of some rain. It is currently sunny but intermittent clouds pose a threat. The current temperature is 17C but humidity is at 88%, a sign that light thundershowers predicted from Friday may come calling a day earlier.
13:30 (IST) Even as the focus remains on the impact of Kohli's knock from a day earlier, there stands one man who can snatch the limelight and put in firmly on himself. Rahane has always been known as an immensely talented player but also one who not had many chances to prove his skills. At 43*, the 25-year-old Mumbai player has a golden chance to cement his place in the Indian side. In his only Test before this, Rahane scores 7 and 1 (against Australia in New Delhi, in March 2013). A fifty in South Africa, and possibly a ton, can do wonders for his career.
13:20 (IST) Indian batsmen, not known for their prowess in the rainbow nation, can take a leaf from the manner in which Kohli negated South Africa's bowling threat on Wednesday. "I got into position early and played some pull strokes, and after that they started bowling at the fifth or sixth stump. So I don't know where their bodyline tactic went," he said after the day's proceedings. (Read full report here) Such was the nature of his responsible knock that South Africa's bowling coach Allan Donald said Kohli reminded him of Sachin.
13:10 (IST) India may not have had the best of starts to the 1st Test against South Africa at the Wanderers on Wednesday. The tourists however fought their way back from 24/2 to finish the day at a comfortable 255/5. Virat Kohli at No. 4 played a determined knock and resisted South Africa's pace battery with solid resolve. (Day 1 report)
Hard fought 1st day for us without many rewards. Our bowlers did well not to let them get away. Big morning session! Top knock @imVkohli- AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) December 19, 2013
13:00 (IST) The first Test between South Africa and India enters its second day as both teams continue their intense battle for supremacy. Ajinkya Rahane (43*) will resume proceedings with his skipper MS Dhoni (17*) as South Africa will count on Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel to work their magic. (Recap: Highlights from Day 1 | Day 1 in pics)