2nd Test: Parthiv, Pujara defy South Africa after top order fails

South African bowler Lungi Ngidi celebrates the dismissal of Indian batsman and Captain Virat Kohli. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa Jan 17, 2018, 02.19 AM (IST)

India's top order again failed to perform as the visitors left battling to save the second Test reduced to 35 for three at the close on the fourth day of the second Test at SuperSport Park on Tuesday.

India lost both openers early along with the key wicket of captain Virat Kohli as India struggled to keep their hopes alive in the series.

South African debutant pacer, Lungi Ngidi struck twice to claim KL Rahul and Virat Kohli. Opener Rahul managed just 4 runs and with skipper Virat Kohli out lbw for just 5 runs.

Parthiv Patel batted defiantly to end the day with Pujara with India still needing 252 runs to win on the last day.

Earlier, Indian opener Murli Vijay lost his wicket to Rabada after scoring 9 runs as India struggled early in the second innings.

South Africa leading the series 1-0 did not let up, piling on the pressure as the Indian batsmen crumbled under sustained aggression.

Also read: Virat Kohli found guilty of 'misbehaving' with umpires, fined

The main highlight of South Africa’s second innings was of AB de Villiers and Dean Elgar, scoring 80 and 61 respectively.

"It's massive for us and I think it's massive for India, knowing he's not batting," said South Africa opener Dean Elgar.

"He's a very special batsman, as we saw in the first innings. I'm sitting here with a smile on my face because he's one less very competitive, extremely talented batsman we have to deal with," he added.

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Earlier, Mohammed Shami's four-wicket haul had South Africa all out for 258 runs in their second innings during the final session.

The Proteas managed to set India a mammoth target of 287 at the Centurion.

For India, apart from Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah took three wickets and Ishant Sharma also managed to get two. 

Shami had struck three times for his team to dismiss two set batsman AB de Villiers and Dean Elgar and one new batsman Quinton de Kock in quick succession.

Skipper Faf du Plessis and Vernon Philander were the two batsmen on the crease who generated a partnership to take South Africa's score to 173/5 at lunch. 

Earlier on Day 3, Kohli hit a masterly 153 in India`s first innings of 307 to stay in touch in Centurion, even though South Africa stretched 28-run first innings lead to 118 by scoring 90 for two in their second spell at-bat on a storm-shortened afternoon.