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SA v IND, 1st Test: Shami takes out Markram as South Africa try to chase a stiff 305

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Centurion, Dec 29 (IANS) Mohammed Shami took out Aiden Markram early as South Africa reached 22/1 at tea on day four of the first Test against India at SuperSport Park here on Wednesday.

After Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen took figures of 4/42 and 4/55 respectively to bowl out India for 174 in the second innings, the hosts now need 283 runs to win on a pitch which has shown high variable bounce for the pacers.

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Chasing 305, Shami, the hero of the first innings with 5/44, made the early breakthrough as he set-up Markram with two away-swinging deliveries and finally completed the set-up by having the right-hander withdraw his bat late, thereby chopping on to the stumps.

Keegan Petersen and captain Dean Elgar survived against the new-ball of Shami and Jasprit Bumrah to take South Africa to 22/1 at the end of second session.

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Earlier, India were able to take their lead above 300, thanks to a quick-fire 34 from Rishabh Pant, also the top-scorer in the second innings of the tourists. Virat Kohli fell on the first ball after lunch, playing a loose drive to a wide outside the off-stump delivery and edged behind to keeper Quinton de Kock. This was the second time in the match that Kohli had driven and nicked behind. The Indian captain could only smash his pad with the bat while going back to the pavilion, with 2021 being the second successive year that Kohli didn’t score a century.

Cheteshwar Pujara could add a boundary to his score from lunch before being strangled down leg by Lungi Ngidi for a simple catch to de Kock behind. Ajinkya Rahane slammed Marco Jansen for three boundaries: a square drive through point, followed by a hooked six over backward square leg and a crisply-timed cover drive to accelerate India’s lead. But in an attempt to repeat the hook in Jansen’s next over, Rahane fell with the top-edge flying to Rassie van der Dussen at deep square leg.

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Pant and Ravichandran Ashwin hit a flurry of eye-catchy boundaries while sharing a stand of 35 runs for the seventh wicket, including the latter changing a caught behind decision off Rabada. But Rabada in his next over, bounced out Ashwin as the ball took the glove edge to Petersen at gully.

Pant continued to take the attack to South Africa, whipping Mulder for successive boundaries before pulling Rabada through mid-wicket. But on the next ball, Rabada had the last laugh as a confused Pant toe-ended the pull to mid-on, but had done his job to boost India’s lead.

Rabada then picked his fourth wicket of the innings as Shami was caught by Mulder at third slip. Jasprit Bumrah dabbed through gully to take the lead past 300 before Jansen bowled Mohammed Siraj for duck to end India’s second innings at 174.

IANS

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