• Maharaj puts Lyon in a spin

    Spinner to spinner, Keshav Maharaj’s domination of Nathan Lyon, in which he scored 25 off 10 balls, is our play of the day.

    It was an interesting spell in many ways, for not only was Maharaj’s final 45 his highest Test score, beating the 41 against Australia in Perth in November 2016, but it was played with far greater control than we have seen of late from the cavalier left-arm spinner.

    Maharaj finds it hard to restrain himself and enjoys going for the big ones. This time he played with consummate ease until, regrettably, he slashed at a wide one from Pat Cummins outside off to nick to Tim Paine. He had taken 51 balls to accumulate his 45, and of those, 29 had come off the 16 deliveries he faced from Lyon – 25 in a 10-ball spell in which he hammered three fours and two sixes.

    He and Temba Bavuma put on 76 in 15 overs: a rate of five an over, which took the first-innings offering from excellent to almost insurmountable.

    The unfortunate downside of Maharaj’s demise was that it left Bavuma on 95, with only Morne Morkel for company, as he strove for his second career century. But Morkel was no match for the angled delivery he got first up, edging into the slips.

    Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images


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