Hello and welcome to Zee News Sports' continuing coverage of the second Test between India and South Africa that enters its third day at the Centurion, with India trying to get as close as possible to the home team's first-innings total of 335.
SOUTH AFRICA SECOND INNINGS (SCORECARD)
9:25 pm: STUMPS! After long deliberation between the umpires and India captain Virat Kohli, in particular, the third day has drawn to a close due to bad light. South Africa (90/2 & 335) lead India (307) by 118 runs. De Villiers batting on 50 and Elgar on 36. Jasprit Bumrah took both the wickets for India in a spell of 2/30.
Bad light stops play.
9 pm: Covers are pitch-side, stumps still erect though. Enough signs that it's all over for the day. But no official announcment yet. Stand by for the final updates.
8.16 pm: Fifty for AB de Villiers off 77 balls. What an innings under these circumstances. After getting beaten by Jasprit Bumrah off back-to-back balls he dabs gently the next one and takes a single to reach his 42nd Test fifty. South Africa 90/2 in 29 overs, lead India by 118 runs. And now bad light stops play. Stay tuned in, we will keep you up to date.
7.58 pm: Seriously? Parthiv Patel and Cheteshwar Pujara choose to do nothing as an edge off Dean Elgar's bat flies between them. Parthiv immediately tries to exonerate himself by pointing a finger at Pujara but to be honest it's his fault as he has worn the gloves. Virat Kohli is livid. South Africa 74/2. AB de Villiers 37*, Elgar 33*. India desperately need a wicket to get back into the game.
7.42 pm: Good news from SuperSport Park in Centurion. Rain has stopped. Play to resume in a short while. There will be no overs lost as floodlights will be used. They have already come on. South Africa will resume from 68/2.
7:20 pm: It's steady drizzle as of now with the covers firmly in place to prevent any damage to the playing surface.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 15, 2018
6.53 pm: Rain stops play in the last and final session of Day 3 at Centurion. South Africa 68/2, lead India by 96 runs. AB de Villiers 35*, Elgar 29*.
6:10 pm: At tea on Day 3, South Africa have recovered to 60/2 after early blows delivered by Jasprit Bumrah (2/19). They lead India by 88 runs. De Villiers batting on 33 and Elgar on 23.
6:02 pm: 50 runs up between AB de Villiers and Dean Elgar. Despite the pitch doing all kinds of trickery, both batsmen have managed to survive. De Villiers 31*, Elgar 19*. South Africa 54/2 after 16 overs, lead India by 82 runs.
5:17 pm: Bumrah strikes again! This time Hashim Amla (1) is struck in front to a delivery that came in sharply. India and Bumrah on song. South Africa 3/2, leading by 31 runs.
5 pm: Early wicket! What a start for India, who began with the spin-pace combination of Ashwin and Bumrah, but it was the latter who drew first blood trapping Aiden Markram (1) LBW. South Africa 1/1, lead by 29.
INDIA FIRST INNINGS
4:48 pm: ALL OUT! India bowled out for 307 as Virat Kohli (153) is caught in the deep giving Morkel (4/60) his fourth wicket. India, thus, concede a thin 28-run first-innings lead to South Africa.
4:38 pm: Wicket! The 'attack-his-ribs' bowling finally works against Ishant (3), who fends an awkward Morkel delivery giving an easy catch to Markram at short-leg. Jasprit Bumrah is the last man to walks in and gets hit on the hamlet right away as he takes his eyes off a rising delivery while trying to defend. India 306/9, trailing by 29 runs. Kohli 152*.
4:29 pm: Kohli's crosses 150. For the record, on all occasions but one when Kohli has remained not out after scoring a Test century since 2016, he has converted it into a double hundred. India 303/8. Read complete story.
3:30 pm: That's lunch on Day 3. India 287/8, trailing South Africa by 48 runs in the first innings. Kohli is unbeaten on 141 and Ishant Sharma on 0. India scored 102 runs in the session for the loss of three wickets.
3.24 pm: The eighth wicket goes down for India, Mohammed Shami departs for 1. Morne Morkel is the wicket-taker this time. India 281 for 8 after 83 overs.
3.17 pm: The new ball does the trick for South Africa. Vernon Philander removes R Ashwin for 38 as Faf du Plessis takes a nice catch at second slip. India 281/7 in 82 overs, trail SA by 54 runs.
3.00 pm: 50 runs up between Virat Kohli and R Ashwin. And believe it or not, Ashwin has dominated Kohli in this partnership with 32 runs. After 78 overs, India 263/6, trail South Africa by 72 runs. Kohli 124*, Ashwin 32*.
2.29 pm: R Ashwin appears to be in good nick. He is off to 23 runs in no time, totally dominating Virat Kohli in this partnership. South Africa appealed for a catch against him but replays showed the ball bounced before finding the hands of AB de Villiers at gulley. India 233/6, Kohli 104*, Ashwin 23*. They now trail the Proteas by 102 runs.
2.05 pm: What a terrible way to go. Hardik Pandya is a victim of his adventurism here. After pushing straight back one Kagiso Rabada delivery he unnecessarily tries to take a single, mostly intending to have fun with Vernon Philander who runs in from mid-on to pick up the ball. After having his fun, Pandya tries to get back as Philander hits the stumps with a looping throw. Replays show the Indian batsman was a little casual and didn't drag his bat down into the crease at the time the ball hit the stumps, leading to his run-out. India 214/6 after 68 overs.
2.02 pm: Kohli reaches his 21st Test ton. Takes two off Lungi Ngidi to reach the milestone. What an effort from the Indian skipper. Sunil Gavaskar says this ton is very important in the large context of the series. India 209/5, Kohli 103*, Pandya 15*, trail South Africa by 126 runs.
1.46 pm: Monday morning in Centurion and there aren't many spectators in the ground, understandably so. And after a quiet start, Virat Kohli picks up two successive fours off the bowling of debutant Lungi Ngidi. India 202/5 after 65 overs, trailing South Africa by 133 runs, Kohli 97*, Pandya 14*. Indian fans would want this partnership to go on and on.
1 pm: All Indian eyes will be on Virat Kohli (85*) to rekindle India's hopes of inching closer to South Africa's total of 335, but he will require solid support from the other end, which is at the present in the hands of Hardik Pandya (11*)
The second Test between India and South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion is nicely poised as India closed Day 2 on 183/5 in reply to South Africa's 335 on Sunday.
Virat Kohli batted doggedly on a two-paced pitch, and was unbeaten at stumps on 85 along with Hardik Pandya on 11. Murali Vijay also contributed 46 runs in a third-wicket 79-run stand with Kohli.
For South Africa, Morne Morkel, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi all took one wicket each.
Earlier in the day, South Africa resumed their innings on 269/6 and thanks to some casual fielding by the Indian team managed to make 335. Ravichandran Ashwin (4/113) and Ishant Sharma (3/46) shared seven wickets between them in the Proteas innings.
Ishant gave a good account of himself on his return to the starting XI in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, whose exclusion had drawn widespread criticism for the team mangement on Saturday. Mohammed Shami also had a memorable day as, with the wicket of Maharaj, he became the seventh Indian fast bowler to take 100 Test wickets after Karsan Ghavri, Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan.
Faf du Plessis, who was unbeaten on 24 on Day 1, made the majority of South Africa's runs on Sunday and added 39 runs to his overnight score.
In their reply, India got off to a bad start as both KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara departed early. Rahul, who had replaced Shikhar Dhawan for this game, made 10 before Morkel had him caught and bowled. Soon after Pujara also went back to the dressing room after a first-ball duck following a misunderstanding between him and Vijay, and India found themselves struggling at 28/2.
However, things started to change for the visiting team with the arrival of Kohli to the crease. He and Vijay showed great composure and both played according to the merit of the ball. It appeared a big stand was on the cards as both batsmen looked extremely comfortable against South Africa's bowlers. However, against the run of play, Vijay departed after edging Maharaj through to Quinton de Kock behind the wickets.
Rohit Sharma and Parthiv Patel, playing in this game in place of the injured Wriddhiman Saha, were the next two Indian batsmen to get out. Rohit fell lbw to Rabada for 10, while Patel, after facing quite a few disconcerting overs from Maharaj owing to a couple of rough patches outside his off-stump, succumbed to debutant Ngidi for 19. Thus, he became the tall fast bowler's first Test wicket. Mind you, Ngidi had also run out Pujara earlier in the Indian innings with a direct throw.
At the conclusion of another day of gripping Test cricket in Centurion, there was nothing to choose between both the teams. However, in light of the two-paced nature of the track, South Africa will feel a little better as they still have a significant lead over the tourists.