Virat Kohli's special gesture for wife Anushka Sharma after Centurion heroics

Greg Lawrence
January 16, 2018

The hosts were leading India by 118 runs in the second innings.

De Villiers and Elgar were on a highly promising partnership of 57 off 81 balls and it will bother Indian captain Virat Kohli going into the last session of the day that may have a huge impact on the outcome of this match.

It is the uncharacteristic Centurion wicket that makes the lead look bigger than it is as the ball has already started to keep low and that accounted for Aiden Markram (1) as Jasprit Bumrah got one to nip in sharply from one of the cracks and had the opener caught plumb in front.

Away from them, South Africa's four-man pace attack worked its way through the Indian top and middle order with regular wickets in the afternoon, leaving India precariously placed in the test and the series after South Africa's first innings of 335 all out.

In fact, India pacer Ishant Sharma went a step further and said: "As we expected there would be bounce on the wicket, but on the first day, the wicket was quite slow".

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis played a similar role to Kohli with a precious half-century to take his team past 300 in its first innings.

The partnership helped India to recover from the early loss of overnight batsman Hardik Pandya (15), who ran himself out.

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Kohli had spoken before the match about showing more "intent" against South Africa's seam attack and he duly delivered, compiling a brilliant 153 not out from 217 balls. AB De Villiers slams his 42nd Test fifty.

Kohli's frustration was also evident, tossing his bat to the floor when Pandya was given out by the TV umpire after the direct hit by Philander. While Murali Vijay played a knock of 46, Ashwin chipped in with a cameo of 38.

Morkel, having taken the last three wickets to fall, returned 4 for 60 while all the other four bowlers had a wicket apiece.

A brief, but heavy thundershower put a stop to proceedings just after tea for a little more than an hour. At his personal score of 29, the left-hander edged a delivery from Bumrah.

Upon resumption, play was fast-paced: Parthiv Patel failed to go for a regulation catch to his left, and runs came fast too, 22 of them in 5.1 overs. All his boundaries were a delight to watch in the hard conditions as he played an exemplary innings showcasing others how to bat on the turf.

The importance of De Villiers' innings can not be understated after he came to the wicket with the Proteas in early trouble at 3/2.

Mohammed Shami fell the very next over as he was caught by Hashim Amla at first slip off the bowling of Morne Morkel for one run.

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