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Ashwin’s Four-Fer Surpasses Maharaj’s Resistance

After declaring the innings with a monumental total of 601 runs, India picked up three wickets overnight on Day 2 of the second Test match against South Africa in Pune. The duo comprising of Anrich Nortje and Theunis de Bruyn got out pretty early on Day 3 leaving South Africa in deep trouble at 53 for 5. The pair of skipper Faf du Plessis and vice-captain Quinton de Kock then joined hands and took the attack against the Indian bowlers.

Both of them came with a special plan against the spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. The duo added 75 runs for the sixth wicket stand before Ashwin shattered de Kock’s stumps. Faf looked firm at the other end, while wickets kept tumbling on the other side. Indian pacer Mohammed Shami bowled a fabulous spell in the second session.

Faf du Plessis scored 64 runs that included of nine fours and one six before getting dismissed by Ashwin. The highlight point from the day’s play was the resistant batting from South Africa left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj. He along with Vernon Philander showed remarkable patience and temperament to keep the Indian bowlers at bay for quite a long time.

Philander and Maharaj stitched a brilliant partnership of 109 runs for the ninth wicket. Maharaj played an impressive and hard-working knock of 72 runs that included of 12 boundaries. Philander remained unbeaten at 44 runs as South Africa folded for 275 runs. For India, Ashwin picked up four crucial wickets, while Umesh Yadav took three scalps. India has gained a lead of 326 runs.

Brief Scores

South Africa 275 (Keshav Maharaj 72, Faf du Plessis 64; Ravichandran Ashwin 4-69, Umesh Yadav 3-37) trail India 601/5 decl., by 326 runs.