Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
5 Jan 2022
12:17 pm

Rabada’s three wickets keep Proteas in with a shout in second Test

Ken Borland

South Africa's premier fast bowler made the telling breakthroughs on day three of the second Test at the Wanderers on Wednesday.

Kagiso Rabada of the Proteas celebrates the wicket of Rishabh Pant of India on day three of the second Test at the Wanderers on Wednesday. Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were pummelling the Proteas for the first hour of the third day as their partnership became positively dangerous before Kagiso Rabada put an end to all that and led a stirring fightback with the ball as India went to lunch on 188/6.

The South African attack was horribly loose in the first hour as Pujara and Rahane both went to pugnacious half-centuries. India, resuming on 85/2 on day three of the second Test with a lead of 58, added 66 runs in 14 overs in the first hour as the bowlers strayed down leg way too often or bowled half-volleys.

Five of the nine boundaries in that time were scored through a vacant third man boundary and second slip Aiden Markram and gully Keegan Petersen also allowed a catch, looping off the gloves of Rahane on 43, to land between them.

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The bowler was Rabada and he was inspired after the drinks break, removing Rahane for 58 in his first over back, edging a terrific short delivery that jagged away to find the edge of a defensive bat.

In his next over, Rabada then removed the other set batsman, Pujara, trapping him lbw for 53 as he came only half-forward to a ball that nipped back into him to strike him on the roll.

Rabada made it three strikes in three overs when Rishabh Pant played a thoroughly improper shot, charging down the pitch to his third delivery and trying to slog the fast bowler back over his head, only to be caught behind for a duck.

Lungi Ngidi then joined the attack and he made another breakthrough when he had Ravichandran Ashwin (16) caught down the leg-side by wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne.

An amazing chain of events has seen India increase their lead to 161, but they have only four wickets left.

The partnership between Hanuma Vihari (6*) and Shardul Thakur (4*) will be a big one for the Proteas to break after lunch.