AB DE Villiers helped give South Africa a slight advantage as his half-century guided the Proteas to a 118 run lead at the close of play on day three of the second Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion yesterday.
De Villiers arrived at the crease with the Proteas in trouble at 3/2 and along with Dean Elgar started to rebuild the innings with an 87 run stand for the third wicket.
It was a similar case yesterday to Cape Town in the first Test when the Proteas were in trouble and De Villiers helped rebuild the innings. South Africa will need him to remain at the crease for a long period if they are to build a decent lead.
There was a nervous atmosphere after the Proteas had lost two quick wickets of opener Aden Markram (1) and Hashim Amla (1) but De Villiers had other ideas as he came in and started to attack.
At stumps after bad light stopped play just after tea, the Proteas were 90/2 with a lead of 118 and will resume this morning looking to take the game away from India.
Earlier on, having been criticised for failing to get a big score outside the subcontinent, India captain Virat Kohli certainly stepped up and led from the front with the bat. Kohli scored 153 to keep India in the series. By the time India were bowled out for 307 in reply to South Africa’s 335, the deficit was 28 and the tourists were still in the series.
They scored 104 runs in the first session for the loss of three wickets. Kohli was good in defence and he picked his moments perfectly to attack as well and guiding his teammates to stick with him.
It was only Ravi Ashwin who supported him as they shared a stand of 71 for the seventh wicket. Kohli, who missed the last series in Sri Lanka after he got married and was on honeymoon, brought up his hundred with a flick to mid-wicket off Morne Morkel.
It was Kohli’s second century against South Africa after he made 119 at the Wanderers in 2013. Starting the day trailing by 152, India’s last five wickets added 126 before Kohli was the last man out in the eighth over after lunch.
He chipped Morne Morkel to long on in a bid to score quickly.