Indian bowlers strike back after batting collapse

South African fast bowlers Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada bowled the hosts back into the match as India lost seven wickets for 55 runs at the start of the day.

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CENTURION - India's bowlers struck back to regain the initiative for their team after a batting collapse on the third day of the first Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Tuesday.

South Africa were 109 for five at tea after bowling out India for 327, still 218 runs behind.

South African fast bowlers Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada bowled the hosts back into the match as India lost seven wickets for 55 runs at the start of the day.

But India's fast bowlers made outstanding use of the new ball on a pitch with variable bounce, reducing South Africa to 32 for four.

Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock put on 72 for the fifth wicket before De Kock was bowled off an inside edge by Shardul Thakur for 34 shortly before tea.

Jasprit Bumrah made the first breakthrough when he dismissed South African captain Dean Elgar in the first over of their reply.

But Bumrah was off the field for most of an extended afternoon session after landing awkwardly on his right ankle in following through in his sixth over. He returned to the field shortly before tea.

Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj both bowled superbly in Bumrah’s absence, with Shami bowling Keegan Petersen and Aiden Markram before Siraj had Rassie van der Dussen caught at gully.

Earlier, Ngidi and Rabada took three wickets apiece as India failed to capitalise on the strong position they built in scoring 272 for three on the first day before the second day was lost to rain.

Ngidi finished with six for 71 and Rabada took three for 72.

Rabada started the collapse in the fourth over of the day when KL Rahul gloved an attempted hook to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock after adding only one run to the 122 he scored on the first day.

Ajinkya Rahane, the other overnight batsman, played a loose backfoot drive against Ngidi and was caught behind for 48.

Four more wickets fell in quick succession before Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj added 19 for the last wicket, prompting a change of bowlers which enabled new cap Marco Jansen to claim a first Test wicket when Bumrah was caught at third slip for 14.