Pandya fights to help India post 185/7 at tea against S.Africa
Cape Town: All-rounder Hardik Pandya led India with a counter attacking half-century as the visitors saw themselves at 185/7 at tea on the second day of the first Test against South Africa at the Newlands here on Saturday.
Pandya (81 batting) who notched up his second Test half-century along with right-handed Bhuvneshwar Kumar (24 batting) were at crease when umpires called it an end to the second session.
The duo who forged a 93-run unbeaten stand for the eighth wicket to help the visitors cut down the first innings deficit imposed by South Africa to 101 runs.
For the hosts, pacers Veron Philander (3/33) and Dale Steyn (2/51) picked up three wickets in unison in the second session.
Resuming the second session on 76/4, batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara (26) and Ravichandran Ashwin (12) failed to get going from the onset.
The Saurashtra batsman was sent back without scoring a run by delivery outside off from Philander which was taken easily at second slip by skipper Faf du Plessis. Later, Ashwin (12) and Wriddhiman Saha (0) were also sent back to the pavillion in quick succession.
However, the struggling Indian innings came to a recovery with a blistering 68-ball innings from Pandya -- who was tactically send down the order. The Baroda batsman hit 13 boundaries and one hit over the fence in his unbeaten innings.
Complimenting Pandya, incoming batsman Bhuvneshwar played a perfect second fiddle getting off the mark in the 32nd delivery he faced. The pacer played on the defence allowing his fellow batsman who looked in form to take charge of the innings.
The Proteas were seen to introduce their lone spinner Keshav Maharaj (0/15) for the first time in the second session. The only trouble for the hosts came in form of their premier pacer Steyn -- who was seen limping off the ground during the 61st over.
Brief scores: India 185/7 (Hardik Pandya 81 batting, Bhuvneshwar Kumar24 batting; Veron Philander 3/33) against South Africa 286 at tea.
With IANS inputs