Jasprit Bumrah shines for India on day 2 of the final test against SA

Despite the obvious lack of fans, Newlands Cricket Ground looked stunning and ready for a thrilling day of cricket action between South Africa and India in the deciding test match.

India's Virat Kohli watches the ball after playing a shot during the second day of the third Test cricket match between South Africa and India on 12 January 2022. Picture: Marco Longari/AFP

Despite the obvious lack of fans, Newlands Cricket Ground looked stunning and ready for a thrilling day of cricket action between South Africa and India in the deciding test match.

At stages during the day’s play, it looked like the Proteas could get to the total of 223 set by India and build an innings lead, but India’s bowlers had the last say regarding that, specifically Jasprit Bumrah who finished with bowling figures of 5 for 42.

South Africa resumed on 17 for 1 on Wednesday morning. Unfortunately, it was not the best start for the hosts as in the first over of the day opener Aiden Markram left a ball by Bumrah that ended up hitting the stumps and brought his innings to an abrupt and early end, he contributed 8 runs.

Keegan Petersen had a big task ahead of him as he joined the night watchman, Keshav Maharaj for the opening session of the day. Maharaj stuck around for another hour or so before being bowled by Umesh Yadav for 25.

Petersen, who was joined by Rassie van der Dussen, started looking comfortable ahead of lunch scoring a couple of fours and singles to keep the scoreboard ticking over. During this session Kohli was vocal and in an empty stadium one could hear almost every bit of banter.

At the lunch break, South Africa were 100 for 3 after 35 overs with Petersen and Van Der Dussen racking up a batting partnership of 55 runs.

That partnership did not last too long after the break and two close run out opportunities, Yadav bagged his second wicket of the day sending van der Dussen packing for 21.

Petersen reached his second half century much to the delight of the few people in the stadium, giving him a well-earned applause.

At this point South Africa were trailing by 86 runs and Temba Bavuma proved to be a good partner to Petersen. In 2016, Bavuma became the first black cricketer to score a century for South Africa when he made an unbeaten 102 against England at this very ground. So, to say he knows this pitch well is an understatement.

But, as sport (and the Proteas) go, nothing ever goes according to the script. Bavuma was the victim of a Mohammed Shami ball, caught by captain Kohli in the slips for 28. It didn’t go much better after that for the hosts, Shami hit again for his second wicket taking out Kyle Verreynne for a duck (0).

The momentum shifted and all hope for South Africa was resting on Petersen who has faced 158 balls for 69 runs and had four different batting partners throughout the day.

Bumrah made sure the Proteas couldn’t find any form of momentum, just before tea the Indian bowler got his third wicket of the innings, that of youngster Marco Jansen (7). At the break, South Africa were on the backfoot so to speak on 176 for 7 still needing another 43 runs to just draw even with India, not even thinking of building some form of a lead.

The final session of the day, saw Kagiso Rabada, in his 50th test match, join Petersen out in the middle facing the wrath of Bumrah for his opening ball. He survived.

His teammate, Petersen was not so lucky in the end, after facing 166 balls and top scoring with 72, he was caught behind the stumps off a Bumrah ball, who was on a roll with four wickets in this innings.

The wickets didn’t stop there for him, he went on to bag the final wicket of Lungi Ngidi for a five-wicket haul as Mark Boucher’s side were bowled out for 210, giving India a 13-run lead heading into the second innings.

The South African bowling attack has been potent throughout the test series and they continued with their fine form in the last session of the day as Rabada and Jansen ensured the visitors weren’t getting too overconfident as the day came to a close.

At stumps on Day Two, India are 57/2 with a lead of 70 runs, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara will resume on 14 and 9 respectively.

The series is level at 1-1, so it’s all to play for in the coming days.