Ind vs SA, 1st Test, as it happened: Petersen leads strong SA response

Tariq Engineer, Dec, 21 2013

Links: You can read about Pujara and Kohli's writing a new script for India here and how Zaheer's return has lifted the bowling attack here.

21:50 IST: Virat Kohli had a chat with Shastri, while the SA assistant coach had a word with Mike Haysman:

Kohli: Played patiently for the 20 runs I scored. I tried to keep the ball (that got him out) down but it bounced too much.

I was challenged in the one-dayers earlier on. I knew there would be lots of shorts stuff. I mentally prepared for that. all about standing up and believing in my game. That is my game. It is all about confidence. I was just in that zone and not thinking anything else

Leaving the ball on the 4th stuff was the biggest adjustment. Need to trust the ball and leave the ball. Judging the bounce in the wicket that you can leave the ball on the offstump.

Pujara totally tired their bowling attack. Scoring a lot of runs for the team. Good batting out there with him. After him and before that we didn't have too many big partnerships, which shows wickets comes in bunches. And we knew that.

I was just telling myself to get in line. When we were beaten, the only thing we asked each other was whether we were in line. If we were beaten when in line, we were fine with that. You are never in on this kind of wicket, so you need to cut out the flashy shots and put away the bad balls.

Adrian Birrell (SA assistant coach):The spur of the moment you make decisions and sometimes they are not right. Graeme said he thought there was a run there. Then unfortunately, Hashim got a ball that didn't get up. It was also unfortunate timing for us. Going into the last day one down would have been good for us. But there is still lots of batting in the shed.

Kallis did a lot of work with the ball. He gets an extra evening to resuscitate and get the old muscles going again. He will be there for us tomorrow. There is a belief there, that is drawn on previous experiences.

Bit of variable bounce but the runs are there. We have a belief we can play on this pitch. We have shown resilience before and we hope that can come through tomorrow.

21.15 IST: That's the end of another absorbing day's Test cricket. Dhoni's attempt as bowling is as effect as AB's was, even if Dhoni is a better bowler. South Africa have knocked off 138 runs from they 458 they required when they started to bat, leaving them 320 to get on the fifth and final day. They have, however, lost Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla. The first to a needless run-out, the second to a freak dismissal - bowled while ducking to avoid what he thought was a bouncer. We will find out whether Amla's twin misjudgements in this Test will come back to haunt South Africa tomorrow.

India, of course, need eight wickets to complete a victory only the team and their closest relatives thought was a possibility on day one.

21.12 IST: And now Dhoni is bringing himself on. SA bowled their vice-captain and wicket-keeper. India bowling their captain and wicket-keeper. Whatever SA can do, India can do better. Kohli has the keeping gloves in the meantime. Dhoni even gets in a bouncer at Petersen.

This is also the fist time EVER that both keepers have bowled in the same Test match.

21.00 IST: Dhoni gives Murali Vijay a go as the light fades. Not entirely sure why. Actually, I have no idea why. I did not even know Vijay bowled offspin. You'd think Rohit was a more logical option, but Dhoni does like to go with his gut and do the unexpected.

20.45 IST: WICKET! Amla b Mohammed Shami 4 (13b 1x4 0x6)

Another huge misjudgement from Amla. He goes down on his knees to duck under what he thinks is a bouncer but the ball, which was pitched short, doesn't rise half as much as he expects and crashes into offstump. He looks stunned, does Amla, as Shami celebrates. The ball sped practically under his chin and he watched it hit the stumps in horror. A freak dismissal that.

South Africa 118/2 as Faf du Plessis walks out to bad in place of Jacques Kallis. A decent choice of nightwatchman is Faf. He can actually bat, for one thing.

20.40 IST: The runs have slowed with Smith's dismissal as Amla settles in towards the end of the day, though he hints at the possibilities with an elegant flick to the legside that fetches him four runs and gets him off the mark. India's three seamers have all been more expensive in this innings, highlighting how much better this pitch is for batting now.

20.15 IST: WICKET! Smith run out 44 (73b 6x4 0x6)

Rahane's direct hit from mid-on finds Smith short of his ground. South Africa's captain had chipped down the track and perhaps his forward momentum pushed him into that sharp single. India wasn't looking like getting a wicket at this stage so that is a bit of an own goal from the hosts.

20.15 IST: Smith brings up the 100 stand with thick outside edge past gully off Ishant that runs away to the boundary. South Africa have bossed today in a similar way to how India bossed yesterday and the hosts will be feeling good about themselves right about now.

20.05 IST: India bowling Zaheer and Ashwin in tandem in a bid to break this opening partnership, but they are finding Petersen and Smith tougher nuts to crack the second time around. Peterson especially is looking very fluid against both spin and pace as their partnership closes in on three figures.

19.50 IST: The ball continues to beat the bat on occasion but nothing is close enough to be a real chance. India have stuck to their task though, but have not looked as good as they did in the first innings as a unit. There also isn't as much movement on offer. That's why Ashwin has already bowled 7 overs, which is one more than he bowled in the entire first innings. He has also been the most economical Indian bowler so far in this innings.

19.30 IST: Petersen brings up his 6th Test 50 with an attempted clip to midwicket that ends up being an outside edge to cover for a couple. He has been the aggressor in the partnership, which is starting to take on ominous proportions if you are an Indian fan. The more runs South Africa make today, the fewer they will have to make tomorrow (obvious, I know, but batting today is somewhat psychologically easier than batting tomorrow).

19.15 IST: Petersen brings up South Africa’s 50 with the first ball of the 15th over. He has had most of the strikes and moves to 40 from 66 balls. Smith has faced just 20 balls for his 10. Smith also has four 4th innings hundreds, all of which have led to South African wins. No player has more (though a handful of others have also made four).

19.00 IST: Ashwin to get things moving after the break. Dhoni has a slip and short leg and short midwicket. India will want to keep things tight and build pressure in this final session.

18.40 IST: Ashwin gets an over before tea, in marked contrast to the first innings, where it took more than 30 overs before he was given a bowl. This time it took nine. Aside from Smith's half-chance to Kohli and a beauty from Shami that beat Petersen all ends up and clipped the back pad, the SA openers have looked comfortable out in the middle. The hosts go in to the tea break 38/0.

18.20 IST: South Africa off to a quick start, highlighted by a beautiful punched straight drive by Peterson off Ishant. The pitch has definitely eased and the openers are scoring at a touch under 5 runs at over at the moment. There is enough time for South Africa to hunt down their target of 458 and they have a strong batting line-up, so India have to bowl well if they want to finish this Test with a victory.

18.05 IST: Alviro Petersen flicks Zaheer to deep midwicket to get South Africa up and rolling in this chase. Before this Test, who would have thought India would be the side pushing for the win on the evening of the fourth day?

Dropped! Smith falls over a touch as he tries to flick Zaheer and Kohli and leg gully leaps to try and snag it but can't hold on. Tough chance but a chance. Smith was dropped in the first innings too.

17.42 IST: WICKET! Mohammed Shami b Imran Tahir 4 (5b 1x4 0x6)

Tahir wraps things up with another googly. Shami goes for the slog sweep. He misses. Tahir hits. Zaheer remains 29 not out from 31 balls. A nice little cameo. India all out for 421. South Africa need 458 to win in four and a half sessions.

The last 5 wickets fell for 63 runs as the hosts chipped away at India from the start of the day

17.37 IST: SIX! Zack has tonked Steyn over extra-cover. It was full and fast and Zack was waiting for it and clobbered it on one leg. Extraordinary shot. Even Steyn can't keep himself from smiling.

17.35 IST: WICKET! Sharma lbw b Imran Tahir 4 (14b 0x4 0x6)

Tahir finally has something to smile about. Ishant comes forward in defense looking for the leggie but is beaten by the googly and rapped on the pad. The umpire thinks about it for a moment, then raises his finger. That looked like it would hit legstump. India 405/9 and leading by 441.

17.25 IST: Zaheer trying to even things up for South Africa by smashing one straight into Ishant’s mid-riff. They have lost Morkel, he tried to put Ishant out of action as a sporting gesture. Ishant survives though, with no damage.

SIX! Out of nowhere Zack gets under a Tahir leggie and smokes it over extra-cover. That shocked Zaheer too. It is also the first sixth of the match.

17.10 IST: WICKET! Dhoni c sub (D Elgar) b Philander 29 (44b 3x4 0x6)

Dhoni slashes a short, wide one from Philander trying to clear the point boundary but doesn't get enough on it. He was actually out earlier in the over. AB and Philander went up immediately for caught behind but umpire Tucker stood stock still. There was a clear sound on the replay when the ball passes the bat though. Doesn't matter now. India 348/8.

16.55 IST: Zaheer tries to run himself out, possibly because he is itching to have a bowl on this wicket. Delicately cuts Duminy past short third man and is half way down the pitch for the second run when he realises Dhoni hasn’t moved. AB misses with the shy at the non-striker’s end though as Zack scampers back.

16.55 IST: WICKET! Ashwin c du Plessis b Philander 7 (11m 12b 1x4 0x6)

India folding slowly on the fourth day. Ashwin gets a leading edge to cover as he tried to turn a length ball to the onside. India now 369/7.

Zaheer has a wild slog first ball. Expect South Africa to come out and bat before too long.

16.40 IST: Duminy gets things underway after lunch because he has the rest of his over to finish. FYI, Ashwin has a higher Test average than his captain - 41 to 39.

15.58 IST: WICKET! Rahane c Smith b Duminy 15 (27b 2x4 0x6) SR: 55.55

Soft dismissal. Rahane fails to cover the angle as he comes forward in defense and Smith takes a simple catch at slip. Duminy has two wickets now and India have lost their fourth wicket in the morning session, which also takes us to lunch with India 358/6.

The lead is now 394 but the first session belongs to South Africa, who have managed to get through to the tail after taking a fearful pounding yesterday evening. Surprisingly, it has been Kallis and Duminy who have done the damage and not Steyn and Philander, despite the new ball.

Kohli was unfortunately out for 96, falling four runs short of becoming the fourth Indian to make centuries in both innings of a Test match. But his 222-run partnership with Pujara, who made 153, has set up India. The big question now is how much can India boost the lead? Dhoni will ideally like to reduce South Africa's chance of winning the Test to zero before declaring. Of course, he may no longer have that option but Ashwin can bat a bit.

15.40 IST: Will MS try and score some quick runs? He takes a couple of steps forward and smashes Kallis to the long-off boundary. Standing outside the crease too, is India’s captain. He has victory on his mind. He and Rahane will need to make the runs now though. Can’t expect the tail to wag even with Morkel missing. They just don’t have the technique to cope with Steyn and Philander. Or Kallis for that matter.

15.25 IST: WICKET! Kohli c †de Villiers b Duminy 96 (193b 9x4 0x6) SR: 49.74

Short from Duminy and Kohli goes back to cut with an eye on his century but is beaten by the bounce. AB accepts the top edge with glee. Kohli ends up four short of his second hundred and his disappointment is there for all to see as he bashes his head against his bat. India losing quick wickets this morning with not too many runs added. The last 3 wickets have fallen for 12 runs, which is in keeping with the trend of the Test match.

15.20 IST: WICKET! Sharma b Kallis 6 (13b 1x4 0x6) SR: 46.15

Rohit is unlucky here. Gets one that hits a crack, jags back and stays low, low, low. Rohit can't get his bat down in time and ends up on his haunches with his stumps splayed. Kallis celebrates. Rohit shakes his head. India 325/4 now, having added 41 today for the loss of two wickets.

15.00 IST: WICKET! Pujara c †de Villiers b Kallis 153 (353m 270b 21x4 0x6)

One false storke too many from Pujara, who had clearly lost his concentration. The ball seamed in a touch and was therefore too close to cut. AB pouches the outside edge with much relief. Pujara gets a pat on the back from Kohli as he walks off

India 315/3 and leading by 351. Rohit Sharma is the new man. What can he do today?

14.55 IST: Kohli into the 90s now. If gets to 100, he would become just the fourth Indian to make a century in both innings of a Test match. Sunil Gavaskar has done in three times, Rahul Dravid twice and Vijay Hazare once (against Lindwall and Miller in 1948).

South Africa think they have their man when Pujara gets an under edge to an offspinner from Duminy and the ball bounces in front of the stumps and looks like it has to crash into them. Except, somehow, it bounces over, perhaps even brushing the bails as it does. AB is even celebrating before he looks down and realising the bails are undisturbed.

A lapse in concentration from Pujara, who poked at an arm ball earlier in the over and almost edged it into AB's gloves.

14.35 IST: A single gets Pujara to 150. Taken him 248 balls in total and he looks hungry for more. Odds are he will get them too, based on this handy little stat.

14.25 IST: One delivery from Philander hit a crack and turnedinto a grubber but it isn’t worrying India too much. Pujara guides a Steyn outswinger past gully for four to bring up India’s 300, then crunches him past point for another boundary in the same over to move to 149.

14.20 IST: This does not look good. Those of you who are squeamish, avert your eyes now.

14.04 IST: Smith surprises by starting with Imran Tahir. He almost gets through Pujara's defense with a googly. Pujara responds with a late cut past short third man for four. It is JP from the other end, so a spin-twin attack to start off. Smith possibly wants to get through the remaining two overs before the new ball as fast as he can.

Remember, South Africa are missing Morne Morkel, who might not be fit for the second Test either with a torn ligament.

13.45 IST: Welcome to our continuing live coverage of the first Test from the Wanderers. The first three days have produced absorbing and surprising cricket, with India ending up with a clear advantage thanks to the discipline and commitment of the visitor's bowlers and batsmen alike.

If the first two days were shared, day three belong completely to India. First Zaheer Khan and his cohorts ran through South Africa's tail, then India's batsmen showed admirable application to see off the early threat of Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, before running riot in the final session, when Pujara and Kohli they added 175 runs from 38 overs.

Cheteshwar Pujara celebrates reaching his 6th Test century. AP

Cheteshwar Pujara celebrates reaching his 6th Test century. AP

Pujara, dropped on 51 by Imran Tahir, completed his 6th Test century with his usual calm efficiency, while Kohli is 23 runs away from scoring centuries in both innings, which would be an amazing feat given this is his first Test in South Africa and he is facing the best fast bowling attack in the world.

It has, in some ways, been a transformative Test for a young Indian team that is showing it is not afraid of playing away from the cozy confines of home.


At stumps on day three of the first Test against South Africa, India reached 282-2 after 78 overs. An overall lead of 320 runs with 8 wickets remaining. Pujara with an unbeaten 135 and Kohli, 77 not out, are at the crease for India. India dominated the day from the beginning with the bowlers wrapping up the SA tail in quick time in the morning session and then the batsmen simply piled on the agony for a Morne Morkel-less South Africa.

Read the rest of the recap here

Published Date: Dec 21, 2013 | Updated Date: Dec 21, 2013

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115