Classy Markram misses out on home town ton

Aiden Markram (Gallo)
Aiden Markram (Gallo)

Pretoria – India finally got on the board in the second session at Centurion on Saturday, claiming two wickets as the Proteas went into tea at 182/2.

SCOREBOARD: Proteas v India - 2nd Test, Day 1

Ravichandran Ashwin claimed both wickets for the visitors as first Dean Elgar (31) and then Aiden Markram (94) perished.

Markram had batted beautifully all day in front of his home crowd, carving out 15 boundaries in his 150-ball stay at the wicket.

His timing was exceptional, and although he fell six runs short of what would have been a seriously quality hundred, Markram showed once more why there is so much hype surrounding him.

He scored runs all over the park and looked in complete control until a lapse of concentration cost him his third Test century.

Elgar was first to go after lunch.

Having battled his way through the opening session, the dogged left-hander started brightly after the break when he lofted Ashwin over his head for four.

But when he came down the track for a second time, he was gone.

The ball bounced significantly and looked to catch Elgar off-balance. All he could do was prod it to Murali Vijay at silly mid-off, who took a sharp catch after the ball had rebounded off his own body.

Hashim Amla then joined Markram at the crease, and he too looked in good touch.

The pair got to their 50 partnership in good time, but then Markram fell.

He had played Ashwin so well up until that point, waiting for the shorter balls to cut and punch through the off side.

He tried another cut off Ashwin in the 48th over of the day, but could only succeed in edging through to Parthiv Patel behind the stumps.

Markram reviewed the decision, thinking he had hit his back pad, but the replays revealed that he had also hit the ball.

That left South Africa on 148/2 as AB de Villiers joined the fray and, as is usually the case, he didn’t take long to get going.

At tea, De Villiers was 16* while Amla was looking good for his 35*.

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