Dale Steyn to the rescue

2013-12-27 15:38

India: 271/5 (Vijay 97, Pujara 70, Virat Kohli 46, Steyn 3/87, Morkel 2/34)

Dale Steyn dragged the Proteas back into the game with a fierce burst of pace, leaving things evenly poised at tea on the second day of the test.

Steyn, who had gone the equivalent of two sessions and nine overs without a wicket – spread over two matches – suddenly came to life in an extended afternoon session with two drinks breaks. There was no play in the morning session because of rain. It was even-steven, with the Proteas snaring four wickets and India accumulating 90 runs.

Steyn’s five-over spel returned three wickets for 19 runs, included the wickets of overnight batsmen Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara.

Vijay, who was on the cusp of scoring his first test hundred outside India, suffered a bad case of the nervous nineties. His ordeal ended somewhat dubiously when he seemed to have feathered Steyn to De Villiers down the leg side. It was a well-structured knock that didn’t deserve the way things ended but in cricket one will not always have the rub of the green.

Rohit Sharma gave Steyn the opportunity of a hat-trick when he shouldered arms to an inswinger.

Enter the confident Kohli, who, along with Ajinkya Rahane, stopped the rot with a confident 66-run stand. Kohli was eventually strangled down the leg side by a Morne Morkel bouncer.

It ended a very fluent innings in which he again showed the ease with which he handles the Proteas bowling attack.

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