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India’s Rishabh Pant, Virat Kohli put the breaks on after Proteas’ fast start

South Africa players celebrate after Keegan Petersen’s magnificent catch off the bowling off Marco Jansen to dismiss Cheteshwar Pujara. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

South Africa players celebrate after Keegan Petersen’s magnificent catch off the bowling off Marco Jansen to dismiss Cheteshwar Pujara. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Published Jan 13, 2022

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Cape Town - South Africa burst out of the starting blocks on the third morning, but Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli reclaimed the advantage for India on a gripping morning on the third day of the series-deciding Test at Newlands.

India were 130/4 - an overall lead of 143 - when the players left the field with Pant 51 not out and Kohli unbeaten on 28.

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Marco Jansen had rocked India with the second ball of the morning when a rising delivery flicked Cheteshwar Pujara's glove. Jansen, though, would credit the wicket to the brilliance of Keegan Petersen fielding at leg slip. Petersen threw himself full length to his left to take a brilliant one handed catch.

The Proteas were celebrating a few balls later again when Kagiso Rabada forced Ajinkya Rahane into fending off a short ball. Although wicket-keeper Kyle Verreynne fumbled the chance, he got enough of a glove on it to palm the ball into the direction of Dean Elgar at first slip.

India were suddenly 73/4 - including the 13 run lead - and South Africa were circling.

However, Kohli and the enigmatic Pant reclaimed the advantage for the visitors with a counter-attack that has yielded 69 runs.

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Pant, in, particular, has been the aggressor and committed to the cause when he lofted Keshav Maharaj over the long-on for six. The plucky wicket-keeper brought up a well-deserved half century shortly before lunch off just 58 balls.

@ZaahierAdams

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