In what was a promising start for South Africa on day three of the third Test against India at Ranchi – despite the loss of skipper faf du Plessis to a ripper of a delivery from Umesh Yadav – Zubayr Hamza and Temba Bavuma provided the visitors some hope in the morning session. However, that hope was short-lived as after Hamza’s fluent maiden Test fifty, Ravindra Jadeja picked two wickets, while left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem claimed his maiden Test wicket to leave South Africa in tatters at 129/6 at lunch, trailing India by 368 runs.
At the crease are debutant George Linde, batting on 10, and Dane Piedt on 4.
Starting the day at 9/2, SA lost du Plessis to a peach of delivery from Yadav that pitched on off and middle and swung just enough to leave du Plessis’defence and clip the edge of off stump. A flummoxed du Plessis stood his ground, appreciating Yadav’s delivery. At 16/3, SA faced an uphill task to steady the innings and Hamza, playing only his second Test, and Bavuma then added 91 runs for the fourth wicket.
Hamza started off in a shaky manner with the pacers – Mohammad Shami and Yadav – finding the edge of his bat, but he survived the tough passage of play and grew in confidence to notch up his maiden Test fifty.
But, batting on 62, he was undone by a Jadeja delivery that skidded off the surface. Hamza went back and was beaten for pace as the ball thudded on to the stumps. The wicket was the reward of pressure put on by Jadeja and Nadeem. In the next over, Nadeem had his glory moment, drawing Bavuma forward with loop, but the delivery turned and moved away; Wriddhiman Saha did the rest behind the stumps.
Couple of overs later, Jadeja added his second with the one going away from debutant Heinrich Klassen as he departed for 6. South Africa slumped from 107/3 to 119/6.
Brief Scores: South Africa 129/6 (Zubayr Hamza 62, Temba Bavuma 32; Ravindra Jadeja 2/12) trail India 497/7d by 368 runs.