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SA Day 2: India 85/2 at stumps, lead by 58 runs

Indian pacer Shardul Thakur scalps seven South African wickets for 61

Johannesburg, Jan 4: South Africa bagged two big wickets, leaving India 85/2 at stumps on Day 2 of the second Test here at the Wanderers stadium on Tuesday. India, however, managed to lead by 58 runs at the end of the final session.
India wiped out the small deficit of 27 runs after a blow. Marco Jansen struck for South Africa and got an early breakthrough, dismissing India stand-in captain KL Rahul.
Rahul poked at a Jansen delivery that nipped back in, only for it to take the bat’s shoulder and carry to slip. The left-arm seamer set the tone of the second innings for South Africa.
India lost their other opener too as Duanne Olivier trapped Mayank Agarwal dead in front of off stump. Mayank failed to read and shouldered arms to a ball which was coming in, leaving India 44/2.
Experienced batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, both who are struggling with their form, found themselves under immense pressure as the South African attack continued troubling them. Pujara (38 not out) and Rahane (11 not out) saw off the day with no further dent.
Earlier, South Africa folded on 229 with a slender lead of 27 runs. After the first hour of the play, the match turned into a clash between South Africa and Shardul Thakur.
The pacer came on top as he picked seven wickets, recording his first five-fer in Test cricket. The last Mumbai player to claim a five-wicket haul in red-ball cricket before Shardul was Zaheer Khan (5/170) at Wellington in 2014.
South Africa, who were 35/1 on opening day, added 194 runs on Day 2. Keegan Peterson batted brilliantly and brought up his maiden Test half-century before Shardul tilted the match in India’s favour.
Peterson and Dean Elgar frustrated Indian attack and added 53 runs for the second wicket before the commencement of Shardul’s show.
The pacer got the much-needed breakthrough as Elgar was dismissed for 28 with a lovely ball that moved away off the seam and South Africa captain nicked behind to wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant.
Peterson played a knock of 62 runs off 118 balls, which included nine boundaries. The batter became Shardul’s second victim as he fished an outside off and eventually got caught at second slip.
At the stroke of lunch, Shardul delivered a game-turning spell. He dismissed Rassie van der Dussen, who was caught behind cheaply for one.
After resumption, Temba Bavuma and Kyle Verreynne stood strong against the Indian attack consisting Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami and continued to slowly rebuild their team’s innings.
However, Shardul once again got the much-needed breakthrough when the partnership was soaring. The pacer trapped Verreynne for 21 and got rid of Bavuma, who was caught behind for 51, reducing South Africa to 191/7 at tea.
South Africa still fought till the end, adding crucial 38 runs towards the end. Marco Jansen and Keshav Maharaj scored 21 each and took the hosts past the 200-run mark.

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