The Proteas suffered the early loss of first-innings hero Dean Elgar shortly before the end of day four of the first Test against India at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.
The tourists ended Saturday on 11-1, with Elgar dismissed lbw by left-armer Ravindra Jadeja, who opened the bowling alongside fellow spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on a pitch increasingly conducive to turn.
The right-handed Aiden Markram and Theunis de Bruyn will resume on Sunday, with the Proteas still 384 runs adrift of a challenging 395-run target.
Earlier, the Proteas’ familiar struggles with the ball continued, as India’s second innings climbed to 323-4 declared.
Having amassed 502 runs in the first innings, the Indians again relished a significant contribution from batsman Rohit Sharma. The newfound opener, who hit 176 across day one and two, gathered a successive ton. While fellow opener Mayank Agarwal was his long-term partner in the first innings, half-centurion Cheteshwar Pujara delivered on cue this time.
The South Africans’ first innings ended on 431 all out. Debutant all-rounder Senuran Muthusamy shepherded Maharaj and Rabada well, until spinner Ravichandran Ashwin struck twice to complete a telling seven-wicket haul.
On day three, opener Dean Elgar and wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock became South Africa’s first Test centurions in India since 2010.
India: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami.
South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Senuran Muthusamy, Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada.
Photo: Gallo Images