India heading towards a win – 1st Test vs. South Africa

India 280 and 2-284 (Cheteshwar Pujara 135*, Virat Kohli 77*, Jacques Kallis 1-51) leads South Africa 244 (Graeme Smith 68, Vernon Philander 59, Ishant Sharma 4-79, Zaheer Khan 4-88) by 320 runs with 8 wickets in hand.

The Indian pacers dismantled the first innings of South Africa within limits whereas Cheteshwar Pujara blasted a ton with a nice assistance from Virat Kohli.

The tourists scored 280 in their first innings and piled up 284 for the loss of two mere wickets in the second whereas the hosts were bowled out for 244 runs in the only innings.

The third day of the first Test concluded on Friday, December 20, 2013, at New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg.

Cheteshwar Pujara - Sixth Test ton
Cheteshwar Pujara – Sixth Test ton

Earlier, the Proteas started the day at 6-213 in 66 overs while Vernon Philander and Faf du Plessis were at the crease for 48 and 17 runs. The first achieved his third Test fifty in the first over with a four and lost his wicket at 226 for 59 runs. Faf du Plsessis became the next victim for 20 and their entire innings was folded back for 244 in 75.3 overs.

Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma were the top wicket takers with four each whereas Mohammed Shami held two.

India gained a first innings lead of 36 runs and lost their first wicket at 23 when Cheteshwar Pujara got together with Murali Vijay. The batsmen crept to 54 in 25 overs while the second wicket fell at 93 as the latter was gone for 39 and was replaced by Virat Kohli. Pujara reached his fifty and was dropped one run later by Imran Tahir at his own bowling. The run rate was picked up by the duo and Kohli went past his fifty in the 58th over. Cheteshwar Pujara kept on cruising, plundered his first away century for his country and continued punishing the bowlers at will. He remained unbeaten at 135 and Virat Kohli secured his end with 77 as India powered 2-284 at stumps in 78 overs.

Vernon Philander and Jacques Kallis were the only successful bowlers with one wicket each.

India has gained an overall lead of 320 runs with eight wickets still intact and they are the favourites to grasp the match.


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