Steyn-less Proteas well placed at Newlands

Dale Steyn (Gallo)
Dale Steyn (Gallo)

Cape Town – The Proteas will be satisfied with where they are in the first Test against India at Newlands, but the big news of day two was an injury to Dale Steyn.

SCOREBOARD: SA v India - 1st test, Day 2

Playing in his first Test match since November 2016 when he injured his shoulder against Australia, the 34-year-old got through 17.3 overs before he left the field in the final over before tea with what was later confirmed as a bruised left heel.

The full extent of the injury is not yet known, but Proteas management did confirm that he had been sent for scans.

Steyn had picked up his second wicket of the innings to finish with figures of 2/51 and he now needs just three more to become South Africa’s all-time leading wicket-taker in Test cricket.

The Steyn injury aside, it was a relatively good day at the office for the Proteas, though they did lose two late wickets to keep things interesting.

They finished day two on 65/2, giving them a second innings lead of 142, but they had lost both of their openers to give India a boost ahead of day three.

Aiden Markram had looked good for his 34 before he was caught off his leading edge while trying to work a Hardik Pandya delivery onto the leg side.

South Africa then sent in Kagiso Rabada (2*) as a nightwatchman, but that didn’t prevent them losing Dean Elgar (25) before the close of play.

Elgar had battled away, but when he tickled one through to the ‘keeper for Pandya’s second, India would have felt right back in it.  

Hashim Amla (4*) was at the crease with Rabada at stumps.

India had been patient in the opening session, losing just one wicket when Rohit Sharma was trapped LBW for 11 off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada (3/34).

But after lunch, South Africa took hold of the game when Vernon Philander (3/33) had Cheteshwar Pujara (26) caught by Faf du Plessis at second slip with the first ball of the session.

Philander struck again in his next over, this time removing the out-of-sorts Ravichandran Ashwin (12), who never looked comfortable.

Steyn then had his second when Wriddhiman Saha was hit on the pads not offering a shot, but that came a ball after Hardik Pandya (93) was dropped by Dean Elgar.

That moment would prove crucial, as it allowed Pandya to get India back in the game. The allrounder finished on 93 from just 95 balls, hitting 14 fours and a six.

After tea and without Steyn, the Proteas managed to wrap things up relatively quickly.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (25) was caught behind of Morne Morkel before Rabada finally got rid of Pandya after an onslaught of short-ball bowling.

Rabada claimed the final wicket of Jasprit Bumrah for 2, and the Proteas had a lead of 77.

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