Ind v/s SA: Kohli misses out on ton as India lead by 394 runs
Johannesburg: Virat Kohli missed out on an opportunity to score centuries in both innings but India consolidated their overall lead to 394 runs at lunch, on the fourth day of the first cricket Test against South Africa.
India reached 358 for six at lunch after Virat Kohli (96) and Cheteshwar Pujara (153) had added invaluable 222 runs for the third wicket to put the visitors on driver’s seat.
While Pujara played 270 balls hitting 21 boundaries in his near-six hour stay at the crease, Kohli’s was a restrained innings with nine fours from the 193 deliveries that he faced.
In the morning, the second new ball was taken after the first two overs in the morning were bowled by Imran Tahir (0/61 in 12 overs) and JP Duminy (2/70 in 20.1 overs).
The 300 for India, in this second innings, came in the 85th over, while Pujara completed his 150 couple of overs later.
This is the fourth time in his 16-Test career so far that Pujara had gone past 150-run mark in an innings. He looked good for a bigger one, but the need to get runs quickly meant that he played an uncharacteristic cut stroke off a Jacques Kallis delivery, which was close to his body.
Pujara’s 222-run partnership for the third wicket with Kohli was the highest stand for third wicket in a Test match second innings overseas. They bettered the long-standing record of 211 runs for the third wicket between Vinoo Mankad and Vijay Hazare at the Lord’s in 1952.
Kohli meanwhile carried on, even as Rohit Sharma (6 runs, 13 balls, one four) suffered another failure. He was bowled by Kallis in the 94th over, off an in-swinging delivery that stayed low. The big wicket for South Africa came when Kohli went on the backfoot for a cut off Duminy, in the 99th over of the innings, and was out caught behind.
He was flustered with his dismissal, even so walked off to a standing ovation.
Bowling was considered India’s weak link before they arrived in South Africa but pacer Ishant Sharma said it has been the key to the team’s success