South Africa resumed their first innings already in deep trouble in the third test against India in Ranchi. Replying to India’s 497 – 9 declared, they had already lost both openers, Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock, when bad light forced the players off early, with the visitors just 9 – 2.
And things almost immediately got worse for them when their captain Faf du Plessis, departed early, bowled by Umesh Yadav for just a single. Their perilous situation was then somewhat alleviated as Zubayr Hamza and Temba Bavuma put together a fourth wicket partnership of 91, before both fell in quick succession. First, Hamza, who had shown some real attacking intent, fell for 62, bowled by Ravindra Jadeja. He has struck one six and 10 fours. Then four balls later, debutant Shahbaz Nadeem took his first wicket in test cricket when he had Bavuma stumped by Wriddiham Saha for 32.
Those two wickets started a South Africa collapse, with Heinrich Klaasen the next wicket to fall, bowled by Jadeja for 6. Dane Piedt and George Linde saw their side through to lunch at 128 – 6, but two more wickets fell after the resumption of play. First, Piedt was lbw to Mohammed Shami for 4, and then Kagiso Rabada was run out for a duck, when he misjudged a miss-field from Yadav.
India’s progress was then held-up by a stubborn 9th wicket partnership of 32 between George Linde and Anrich Nortje which was ended when Linde, who had made 37, including one six, was caught by Rohit Sharma off Yadav. And then Nadeem had Nortje lbw for 4, to wrap up the innings, with South Africa 162 all out.
The wickets were shared amongst the Indian bowlers – Yadav too three, whilst there were two apiece for Shami, Jadeja and Nadeem.
With a first innings lead of 335, Indian captain Virat Kohli wasted no time in enforcing the follow-on, and South Africa were immediately in trouble in their second innings, losing opener Quinton de Kock at the start of the second over for 5, bowled by Yadav. Eight balls later, Hamza was bowled by Shami for a duck, as South Africa stumbled to 10 – 2. And then they suffered another blow when du Plessis was lbw to Shami for just 4. And then Shami claimed his third wicket, having Bavuma caught behind off a thick outside edge without scoring.
If matters were not already bad for South Africa, they were made worse when Elgar, who had watched the carnage at the other end, was hit flush on the head from a delivery from Yadav, and had to be helped off the field.
South Africa’s dismal afternoon continued after tea when Heinrich Klaasen was lbw to Yadav for 5. Linde and Piedt resisted for a while with a stand of 31, but when Linde had reached 27, he hesitated whilst taking a single and was run out by a direct throw from Nadeem. That brought in Theunis de Bruyn, batting as a substitute for Elgar, and he added 31 with Dane Piedt until Piedt, who had hit one six of his own, was bowled by Jadeja.
Kagiso Rabada managed 12, but he fell to Ravichandran Ashwin, caught by Jadeja at short third man after an unsuccessful heave to the boundary. Soon afterwards bad light ended play for the day, with South Africa 132 – 8, staring down the barrel at another heavy defeat.
De Bruyn was unbeaten on 30, whilst Nortje was 5 not out.