India suddenly on top as South Africa throws away wickets

India's wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel, right, and teammates celebrates the dismissal of South Africa's batsman Aiden Markram on the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
India's bowler Jasprit Bumrah, reacts after his delivery against South Africa's batsman Dean Elgar, during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
South Africa's Dean Elgar plays a shot during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
South Africa's batsman Hashim Amla‚ left, plays a side shot as India's wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel watches during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
India's Hardik Pandya, right, trows the ball to run out South Africa's batsman Hashim Amla‚ as teammate Faf du Plessis‚ left, runs home safe during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
South Africa's batsman Hashim Amla‚ far left, plays a side shot as India's wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel, second from left, and teammates watches during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
South Africa's batsman Hashim Amla‚ plays a shot during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
India's bowler Ishant Sharma, far right, celebrates with teammates after bowling South Africa's batsman AB de Villiers, far left, for 20 runs on the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
India's bowler Mohammed Shami, watches his delivery against South Africa's batsman Aiden Markram, during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
South Africa's Dean Elgar, plays a shot during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
South Africa's batsman Hashim Amla‚ is run out by India's Hardik Pandya, for 82 runs during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
South Africa's batsman Aiden Markram, plays a shot during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
India's captain Virat Kohli, reacts after making a catch to dismiss South Africa's batsman Quinton de Kock‚ for a duck during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
India's bowler Mohammed Shami, temporarily leaves the field during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
South Africa's batsman Aiden Markram, left, is embraced by India's captain Virat Kohli as he leaves the field after dismissed for 94 runs during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
India's captain Virat Kohli, foregrounf right, reacts after making a catch to dismiss South Africa's batsman Quinton de Kock‚ middle, for a duck during the first day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

CENTURION, South Africa — After toiling for 2 1/2 sessions, India was suddenly on top in the second test as South Africa threw away wickets at the end of day one on Saturday.

Hashim Amla's run out on 82 started the late slide as South Africa went from the comfort of 246-3 to 269-6 in the last 10 overs before stumps.

Vernon Philander also ran himself out for 0. In between those two dismissals, Quinton de Kock was out first ball off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

Ashwin was India's best bowler with 3-90 as the seam attack struggled for most of the day on a surprisingly slow and lifeless pitch at SuperSport Park.

The late drama, though, and South Africa's careless end to the day gave India a way back into the test and possibly the three-match series after going 1-0 down in Cape Town and starting the game in Centurion on the back foot.

"I feel those wickets in the last session are a very valuable incentive for the team going into the second day," Ashwin said.

Opener Aiden Markram made 94 as South Africa put together partnerships of 85, 63 and 51 for the first three wickets to control most of the day.

That meant little, though, after Hardik Pandya swooped, turned and threw down the stumps at the non-striker's end to run out Amla and turn the day around.

Two balls later, de Kock edged Ashwin to India captain Virat Kohli at slip, with Kohli setting off on a vigorous celebration that took him right to the other end of the pitch.

Philander's run out in the next over came as he set off for a run as the ball looped into the air and dropped between three India fielders. South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was unmoved at the other end as Pandya, again, played a role in the run out by returning the ball to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel with both South Africa batsmen at the other end.

"It's all part of the game. We've just got to remain nice and positive," Markram said.

Du Plessis held his team together until stumps and was 24 not out. Keshav Maharaj was with him on 10 not out but South Africa had only tailenders left to come on a pitch where they would have been targeting a score of 400 plus after that start.

With Markram going well, South Africa was 78-0 at lunch and 182-2 at tea after du Plessis won the toss and said it was an easy decision to bat first.

SuperSport Park was expected to be fast and bouncy and replicate the Cape Town pitch where India's batsmen struggled against the home quick bowlers and the top-ranked test team lost by 72 runs to fall behind in a series against its closest challenger in the rankings. The surface at SuperSport Park was nothing like that, however, with slow bowler Ashwin the one to profit on the opening day. He bowled 31 overs.

"I like to think I've kept us in the game. It could so easily have been a day where they ran away with it in the second session," Ashwin said. "I like to think I've been dogged."

Markram hit 15 fours but fell just short of a century on his home ground and where he grew up watching cricket, getting a thin edge behind to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel off Ashwin as he poked at one outside the off stump.

Markram has two test centuries and two half-centuries in his first five tests and has been out in the 90s twice now in his first seven test innings.

"Massively disappointed," he said. "It was a nothing shot and I've still not got over it just yet."

Ashwin picked up opener Dean Elgar for 31 for the first breakthrough.

AB de Villiers was out for 20, played on to seamer Ishant Sharma.

Markram and then Amla played South Africa into a position of dominance, with Amla stroking 14 fours and appearing to be on the way to another century at a ground where he has his best record. He has four centuries and a double-century at Centurion and was on course to add to that when du Plessis called him through for a quick single and Pandya pounced brilliantly.

Must Read

South Africa beats Sri Lanka to move top of ODI...

Feb 10, 2017

South Africa moved to the top of the one-day international rankings as it beat Sri Lanka by 88 runs...

Super Rugby: Hurricanes, Highlanders show New...

May 20, 2017

Hurricanes, Highlanders show off New Zealand teams' might in Super Rugby

Crusaders beat 14-man Lions 25-17 in Super Rugby...

Aug 5, 2017

The Crusaders have won a record-extending eighth Super Rugby title with a 25-17 win over the Lions...

South Africa, Australia draw 27-27, New Zealand...

Sep 30, 2017

South Africa and Australia drew 27-27 in the Rugby Championship after Springboks flyhalf Elton...

South Africa leads India by 142 despite Pandya's...

Jan 6, 2018

South Africa leads India by 142 runs in the first test despite Hardik Pandya's best efforts

People also read these

South African government approves 2023 Rugby WCup...

May 9, 2017

South Africa's new sports minister has lifted a ban on the rugby union hosting major events,...

Plague in Madagascar hits urban areas, kills 2...

Oct 3, 2017

Authorities in Madagascar are struggling to contain an outbreak of plague that has killed two-dozen...

All Blacks squeeze past Springboks 25-24 for...

Oct 7, 2017

New Zealand has weathered a Springboks storm to win 25-24 in the Rugby Championship and complete...

Report: Pistorius appeals sentence for killing...

Dec 19, 2017

Report: Pistorius appeals recently lengthened 13-year prison sentence for killing girlfriend

India faces predictable pace challenge in South...

Jan 3, 2018

A green, fast-bowler friendly pitch lurking under the covers shouldn't surprise India ahead of the...

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH

Daily Sprinter delivers the cutting-edge content from game reports to viral videos for our audiences worldwide. Our passionate writers strive to deliver a unique approach to the hottest sports news.

Contact us: sales@dailysprinter.com