Play on the third day of the first Test between South Africa and India was on Sunday called off due to persistent rain. The ground was almost covered with water due to the pouring rain, with no play possible at Newlands. At the end of the second day’s play on Saturday, South Africa reached 65 for two in their second innings after bowling India out for 209 in their first innings. The hosts have taken a lead of 142 runs.
7:00 pm IST: The play has been officially called-off. Day four play will start at usual time, if weather permits. However, total of 98 overs will be bowled on each day four and five respectively.
6:47 pm IST: After first session, another session goes down the drain. There is no respite from rain. It will be interesting to see whether we have any play today or not.
4:20 pm IST: The super-sopper has been pressed into the action. And things look positive. Meanwhile, it is still cloudy. Fingers crossed, hopefully we will have some action soon.
3:50 pm IST: The wait continues as it is still raining. Well, there is some hope that it will clear later in the day. It’s just a hope!
2:00 pm IST: It is actually raining heavily. So the rain has delayed the start of third day’s play.
1:55 pm IST: It was raining in cape Town since 3 am local time and we could have delayed start.
Build-up: All-rounder Hardik Pandya shone with the bat and the ball to help India stay afloat. Pandya’s 93 and 2/17 gave India a much-needed impetus despite the Proteas leading by 142 runs at the end of Day Two.
Pandya struck a spirited innings before India were bundled out for 209 to close their first-innings gap to 77 runs.
In reply to South Africa’s 286, none of the Indian batsmen apart from Pandya managed to make a good start as the wickets kept falling at regular intervals.
Having lost Murali Vijay (1), Shikhar Dhawan (16) and skipper Virat Kohli (5) cheaply on Day One, India relied heavily on their swashbuckling batsmen Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara after they took the team past 50-run mark.
But, Rohit and Pujara failed to convert their good start into big innings and were dismissed lowly for 11 and 26 respectively.
However, Pandya came from behind and served as the lone survivor for India by notching up a blistering 93-run knock as the visitors staged a late fight back in the match.
The main highlight of India’s innings was Pandya’s 99-run stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, after which the latter dismissed for 25.
For South Africa, Vernon Philander was the pick of the bowlers for his remarkable figures of three for 33 followed by Kagiso Rabada’s three for 34. Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn grabbed two wickets each. Sadly, for South Africa Steyn has been ruled out of the series following an injury.
Pandya struck with the ball twice, getting rid of Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar, as soon as the Proteas got to batting. (With ANI inputs).