Two good, two bad from Centurion

Sport360 - - New Zealand V Pakistan -

THE GOOD Ai­den Markram’s 94

Markram had pre­dicted the Centurion pitch to yield a lot more runs than New­lands. The 23-year-old feasted on the good bat­ting con­di­tions with a flu­ent and aes­thetic in­nings.

The right-handed bats­man showed he has a bright fu­ture ahead of him. His drives through mid-on and mid-off against the fuller de­liv­er­ies were a joy to watch while he was equally pun­ish­ing against the shorter-de­liv­er­ies.

The opener was look­ing good for his third Test ton in only his fifth match but fell short by six runs. Nev­er­the­less, his runs at the top set-up an ex­cel­lent plat­form for South Africa to push to­wards a big to­tal.

Ash­win turns it on

Dean El­gar, af­ter sur­viv­ing a test­ing pe­riod against Ishant Sharma, had es­tab­lished a strong open­ing stand along with Markram. Ravi Ash­win found some joy in­stantly on the Centurion track and had El­gar in trou­ble be­fore lunch. He had his man straight af­ter the break as El­gar stabbed a clev­erly-flighted de­liv­ery to back­ward point. Ash­win then re­moved Markram with a de­liv­ery that did not turn as much as the South African opener had ex­pected. The spin ace then re­turned dur­ing the fi­nal overs of the day to dis­miss Quin­ton De Kock for a golden duck with a de­liv­ery that took the bats­man’s out­side edge.

THE BAD Pa­tel drops Amla

Hashim Amla was out nick­ing it be­hind in the first Test. The pres­sure was on the se­nior bats­man when he came out to bat yes­ter­day and bat­tled his way to 30 be­fore pre­sent­ing a chance to Parthiv Pa­tel.

The 34-year-old’s at­tempted flick to­wards the leg-side to an Ishant Sharma de­liv­ery took a big edge off his bat but Pa­tel failed to col­lect the chance div­ing to his left.

In the side, only due to an in­jury to Saha, Pa­tel’s drop proved costly for the vis­i­tors as Amla went on to add another 51 runs and was look­ing good for his 29th Test ton be­fore be­ing run-out.


South Africa lost their com­po­sure in the fi­nal 10 overs of the day as two in­ex­cus­able run-outs brought In­dia right back into the game.

First to fall was Amla. Du Plessis called for a sin­gle af­ter Amla punted the ball to­wards the short-leg re­gion but Hardik Pandya sprinted to the ball and un­leashed a di­rect throw at the non-striker’s end.

The sec­ond was even more baf­fling as Ver­non Phi­lan­der‘s flick off Pandya lobbed to­wards fine leg. Phi­lan­der kept wan­der­ing down the pitch and failed to pay heed to Du Plessis’ call to go back and was run-out com­fort­ably by Pandya.

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