Durban, Dec 27: Fast bowler Dale Steyn rocked the Indian top-order with three quick strikes that left the visitors at 271 for five in their first innings at tea on the second day of the Boxing Day Test at the Kingsmead here Friday.
Weather continued to play spoilsport as rain delayed the start of second day’s play by three hours, prompting the two teams to take early lunch. Bad light had also forced an end to the first day’s play with India at 181 for one.
And when play resumed late on the second day, three quick strikes from Steyn put India on the backfoot. From 181/1, India were reduced to 199 for four in the space of seven overs.
The session completely belonged to the Proteas as they picked up four wickets for 90 runs. Ajinkya Rahane was batting on 23 and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was yet to open his account at the tea break.
Overnight batsmen Murali Vijay (97) and Chetshwar Pujara (70), who were in complete control of the game Thursday, had their nervous moments against Steyn on the second day.
Steyn bowled full steam and got his reward as Pujara went forward for a drive and AB de Villiers made no mistake behind the stumps.
The South African pace spearhead struck twice in the next over removing Vijay and Rohit Sharma in successive deliveries. Vijay, who had worked hard for his 97, tried to fend a short ball at his body but hit his top hand to the keeper, who took a good catch diving to his left. Rohit’s poor form in the series continued as he fell for a golden duck trying to leave the ball but lost his middle stump.
Both Rahane and Kohli (46) played fluently putting up a 66-run stand for the fifth wicket but India again suffered a set-back shortly before tea as Kohli tried to play a delivery from Morkel through fine-leg only to have an acrobatic De Villiers taking another stunner behind the wicket.