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India On Verge Of Going Down At Centurion As Young Lungi Ngidi Impresses

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India are on the brink of losing the second Test match against South Africa at the SuperSport Park in Centurion and therefore surrendering the three-match series after an inspired performance by Lungi Ngidi.
The tourists were set a 287-run target by the Proteas and they find themselves reeling at 35/3 at stumps on Day 4. More over Virat Kohli’s dismissal has put more doubts in India’s chase as it is a matter of time before the Proteas could shut the door for the tourists. Chasing a record 287 runs on a fifth day pitch will not be an easy task at all. India need another 252 runs with just seven wickets in their hand.
All eyes will be on Cheteshwar Pujara (11*) to bat long and strong as he has the credentials to do justification to the same,. Alongside him is Parthiv Patel (5*) who will be tested hard and with the opportunity presented to him ahead of Wriddhiman Saha at Centurion, as he knows an innings of substance will light up his direction.
ALSO READ: 2nd Test – Kohli Excels With 21st Ton Before AB Rescues Proteas
After getting out Faf du Plessis’ South Africa for 258 in the second innings, India’s mess up earlier in their catching in the end is proving to be very costly as they stare down the barrel.
Murali Vijay was the first one to become a victim of the variable bounce on the fourth evening. World No. 1 bowler Kagiso Rabada’s ball almost skid through to take the bottom edge of Vijay’s bat and crash into the leg stump. Moments later India’s experiment with KL Rahul ended up on sour note as the batsman got out failing to defy Lingi and handling a catch to spinner Keshav Maharaj, as the scorecard read 16/2.
ALSO READ: Proteas On Top Despite Virat Kohli’s Fightback
Virat Kohli’s joined Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle and there was hope, but the variable bounce did Kohli (5) in as well with pacer Lungi Ngidi grabbing the wicket LBW. Kohli, who smashed a brilliant 153 in the first innings, succumbed this time.It was a moment to cherish for Lungi, getting the Indian skipper in an important moment in the Test match. Ngidi, meanwhile, finished the day with 2/14 from his six overs as his encouraging start to Test cricket continues.

              Overs                Maiden                  Runs             Wickets
                 6                    2                     14                   2

The youngster was close to having the Indian skipper out in similar fashion in the first innings, with a faint inside edge denying him, but this time the debutant had his moment. India need the current two batsmen to bat for majority sessions on Day 5 in order to save their chances. After the day’s play Proteas hero Dean Elgar spoke to the media in the press conference and praised Lungi.
ALSO READ: South Africa vs India 2018: 2nd Test – Ashwin Impresses As Tourists Hit Back At Proteas
For Proteas opener Dean Elgar, one of Ngidi’s major strengths at this early stage is his positive outlook. “I just think it’s the confidence of the youth,” the 30-year-old Elgar said. “Natural ability will come out irrespective of whatever attitude you bring in, but Lungi has a very unique and special attitude. He’s always got a smile on his face.”
Earlier, South Africa snatched the first session with AB de Villiers and Dean Elgar batting well. The duo built on their scores from Day Three and contributed immensely. AB played a solid hand and scored a good looking 80 runs as Elgar chipped in with 61 runs. Mohammed Shami brought life into the bowling attack picking both the scalps followed by Quinton de Kock.
De Villiers’ 80 was a substantial knock in the shape of this Test.

              Runs                Balls                  4/6             Strike Rate
                80                  121                  10/0                  66.12
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Just as India had the Proteas in the mat once again, they let the momentum slip. Vernon Philander and Du Plessis added 46 runs to get the total past 200. Ishant Sharma got Philander as Jasprit Bumrah sent Faf back as the visitors then cleaned up the tail. But by then the hosts had a score of 258 and a 28-run lead meant, there was a mountain to climb for Kohli’s men.

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