Jasprit Bumrah rediscovered his magic, Keegan Petersen conjured an innings of sublime beauty and the South African seafarer had a fascinating second day in Newlands.
In India’s Stumps, they beat Proteas by 210 points and gained a first-inning lead of 13, with both teams leading by 57 points. In the third free Test on Wednesday, both of its openers were back in the cabin.
Kagiso Rabada, whose line was flawless, moved a fly ball away from the cordon from Mayank Agarwal and Dean Elgar.
KL Rahul, who failed to put his foot on the pitch, was lured into a deadly drive by left-armer Marco Jansen. He was caught by Aiden Markram at the cordon.
The decider promises to be on the fringes of seat affairs.
Bumrah, who bowls fast and bounces off the stump line, moves the ball in both directions and uses angles effectively – he uses the crease very well – scalp five.
With footwork, balance and composure, Peterson hit the ball for a sublime 72 on a surface that constantly tested the batter.
The next day, the pitch became noticeably faster. The sun setting can affect the cracks.
In the morning, Markram went down on his second delivery of the day; wrapping his arms around a Bumrah ball biting back.
Mohammad Shami could have taken Peterson on four but Rahul gave up a low chance on the third slip.
Night’s Watchman Keshav Maharaj played the role entrusted to him with 45 balls for 25 valuable runs as Shami’s back kick accelerated to cover boundary .
Umesh Yadav brought one back to take out the middle stump of Maharaj. His bowling rhythm is good and dangerous because he can threaten the inside and the outside with incredible speed.
For South Africa, Petersen and Rassie van der Dussen conducted an in-depth study. The more you know about Petersen, the more impressed you will be.
He is small in stature, but has soft wrists that allow him to find gaps with precision. The compact hitter is in a good position both defensively and offensively.
He made a couple of shots, cover drives, square drives, cuts, reverse sweeps and flicks, but one of the shots stuck out – he went deep into his crease, on top of the bounce, and hit Umesh to the cover point fence.
Rassie van der Dussen, resolute in defence, added 67 runs in Peterson’s fourth wicket before falling from Umesh to a lovely, late carry.
Temba Bavuma makes a shot. When Shardul Thakur gave him space, he flicked Umesh and cut.
Bavuma also has green rubs. He went to cut Shardul, edged and the low catch was put down by Pujara on the first slip.
Shami ended an easy sojourn at Bavuma with its delivery line held close to the stump. Kohli stayed low for the second slip.
Soon Shami, who had his excellent seam position, took a shot off wicket-taker batter Kyle Verreynne, who cut into the pants.
And Bumrah’s change in angle sent Marco Jansen’s stump flying. He ended Peterson’s menacing tenure with a long rebound on the perimeter.
Some useful strikes from Labada and Duane Olivier ensured that the first inning was almost a dead end.
Importantly for India, the bite is back in Bumrah’s bowling.