Elgar leads from the front as Proteas keep second Test alive

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  • Dean Elgar
    South African cricketer
  • Cheteshwar Pujara
    Cheteshwar Pujara
    Indian cricket player

South Africa skipper Dean Elgar displayed strong resistance to keep the second Test between the Proteas and India in the balance at the end of day three.

Elgar scored an unbeaten 46 off 121 balls to move the hosts, who trail 1-0 in the three-match series, within 122 runs of victory as they aim to avoid losing a series at home to India for the first time ever.

India had wrestled back control on day two thanks to Shardul Thakur's seven-wicket haul to take a 58-run lead into Wednesday's opening session in Johannesburg.

After a strong start that saw them add 93 runs to their tally, with Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane reaching half-centuries, three wickets fell in quick succession.

Kagiso Rabada took Rahane for 58, Pujara for 53 and Rishabh Pant for a duck, before day two hero Thakur was caught by Marco Jensen after scoring 28 off 24 balls.

Jansen then dismissed Jasprit Bumrah for seven, though Hanuma Vihari (40*) ensured India had a set a healthy target of 240 by the time the Proteas came in to bat.

South Africa's hopes faded when Aiden Markram (31) and Keegan Petersen (28) were removed, but the home batters – and Elgar in particular – stood firm from that point on.

Elgar took a couple of blows to the body but his patient play paid off, featuring in a 47-run partnership with Markram for the first wicket and 46 with Petersen for the second.

He will resume on 46 on Thursday alongside Rassie van der Dussen, who was 11 not out at stumps with the Proteas closing on 118-2.


Pujara and Rahane star for India

South Africa's hopes of winning a third successive away Test outside of Asia ​looked a lot more difficult when Pujara and Rahane piled on the runs early on.

They combined for a 111-run stand, which is the highest partnership between the pair in Tests outside of Asia, surpassing their 100 at Lord's in August last year.

Brave Elgar stands firm

Elgar showed serious doggedness to see his side through to stumps after being struck on the shoulder by Bumrah and on the back from a Mohammed Shami delivery.

The Proteas captain spent three hours in the middle and it is imperative for South Africa that he stays there a little while longer on Thursday.

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