It not only moved but also put South Africa on the precipice of a first-ever series defeat against India at home. Then, the Proteas fought back. That's how the so-called moving day played out on Wednesday at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg. India set a tricky 240-run target after being bowled out for 266 in their second innings on Day 3 of the second Test. Cheteshwar Pujara (53) and Ajinkya Rahane (58), both fighting to save their respective spots in the team, played two classy knocks in the morning but departed in quick succession soon after hitting fifties. Hanuma Vihari (40 not out) then shepherded the tail to add crucial runs. In between, Shardul Thakur, who claimed a seven-wicket haul on Day 2, played some lusty shots for his 24-ball 28. At the close of play, South Africa were 118/2 (40), still needing 122 runs. India need eight wickets. Proteas skipper Dean Elgar, who put his body in the firing line, was unbeaten on 48 off 121 balls. And giving him support was Rassie van der Dussen (11 not out off 37). For India, Shardul Thakur and Ravichandran Ashwin got the wickets. Get highlights of SA vs IND here:
9:00 PM IST: Stumps
Mohammed Shami with the final over of the day. Dean Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen unbeaten on 46 and 11 runs respectively. 19 runs in the last ten. India need eight wickets. South Africa need 122 runs. SA - 118/2 (40).
8:42 PM IST: Another One
Poor Dean Elgar. Takes another one. This time, his fingers are in the firing line. A Shardul Thakur snorter hits his right glove. Meanwhile, Mayank Agarwal seen walking gingerly with the team physio at the boundary. South Africa need 127 runs. SA - 113/2 (36.2)
8:20 PM IST: Elgar In Pain
Photo - AP
Nasty. A well-directed bouncer from Jasprit Bumrah hit Dean Elgar on the shoulder and ricocheted to the grill. Elgar having medical attention. He continues and another bouncer. Terrorising. South Africa need 141 runs. SA - 99/2 (31)
8:01 PM IST: Ashwin Strikes
Ravichandran Ashwin breaks a 46-run stand. He traps Keegan Petersen (24 off 44) in front. No review. South Africa need 147 runs. Rassie van der Dussen is the new man. SA - 93/2 (27.2)
7:38 PM IST: Spin On
Overcast conditions and Ravichandran Ashwin with his first over. Three from it. South Africa need 158 runs. SA - 82/1 (22)
7:31 PM IST: Proteas Steady
Bowling change. KL Rahul brings in Mohammed Siraj. Six from it, a couple of twos and two singles. 30-run stand in 63 balls for Dean Elgar (18 off 26) and Keegan Petersen (29 off 59). South Africa need 163 runs. SA - 77/1 (20)
7:06 PM IST: Shami Returns
Mohammed Shami on with his fourth over. A maiden to Keegan Petersen. 37 runs in the last ten overs. South Africa need 180 runs. SA - 60/1 (15)
6:44 PM IST: Thakur Strikes
Well, Shardul Thakur is a busy man and he's making a lot of noises, the right ones. He convinces KL Rahul to take a review, LBW against Aiden Markram. But the ball's missing the leg stump. Then, he gets it right in the next delivery. Markram is trapped in front. He goes for 31 off 38. South Africa need 193 runs. Keegan Petersen will be the next man. SA - 47/1 (10)
6:34 PM IST: Final Session Starts
And it's Shardul Thakur. Dean Elgar takes a couple off the first. Another couple off the fifth, to fine leg. South Africa need 202 runs. SA - 38/0 (8)
6:11 PM IST: Tea
Jasprit Bumrah with the final over before tea. Aiden Markram's having issues with his bat. It gets hit, rather than playing, at the toe. And an edge for a four and it's tea. South Africa need 206 runs. SA - 34/0 (7)
6:00 PM IST: Hamstrung Siraj Fielding
Jasprit Bumrah continues. Dean Elgar gets a thickish outside edge off the first ball and gets his first four. The Proteas skipper hits the last ball to mid off, forcing a hamstrung Mohammed Siraj to run. A couple. South Africa need 215 runs. SA - 25/0 (5)
5:47 PM IST: Positive Start From The Proteas
Mohammed Shami with the second over. Aiden Markram hits the fifth for a four, past square leg. He flicks the last ball for three. In the first over, Aiden Markram hit Jasprit Bumrah for a four, off the last ball. South Africa need 228 runs. SA - 12/0 (2)
5:38 PM IST: Players Are Back
The last time these two sides met at the Wanderers, India won by 63 runs after setting a 241-run target. And the highest successful 4th innings chase at the venue is 310 by Australia in 2011-12 season.
5:30 PM IST: Innings Break
Lungi Ngidi cleans up Mohammed Siraj. A two-ball duck. Hanuma Vihari is unbeaten on 40 off 84. And the target is 240 runs. IND - 266 (60.1)
5:28 PM IST: Vihari Fours
Duanne Olivier with his 12th over. Hanuma Vihari hits the fifth ball for a four, over cover. Then another one to backward square leg. And he is shielding Mohammed Siraj. The pacer has faced only one ball in a 22-ball last-wicket stand. India lead by 239 runs. IND - 266/9 (60)
5:10 PM IST: Bumrah Goes
Lungi Ngidi gets his first in the innings. Jasprit Burmah swings but gets a top-edge and is caught by Marco Jansen. He goes for seven of 14. Mohammed Siraj is the last man. He is fit enough to bat. India lead by 218 runs. 245/9 (56.2)
5:03 PM IST: Bumrah Six
Jasprit Bumrah finally opens his account, in some style, with a six over backward square leg. Hanuma Vihari gets a top-edge off the fifth ball and four. Kagiso Rabada's figures: 3/77 in 20 overs. India lead by 218 runs. IND - 245/8 (55)
4:58 PM IST: Bumrah vs Jansen
Now some spice. Jasprit Bumrah copes another one and he's having a verbal duel with Marco Jansen. Umpires get involved. Yesterday, Jansen was at the receiving end of this little, blossoming rivalry. A maiden over. India lead by 203 runs. IND - 230/8 (54)
4:48 PM IST: Shami Goes
Marco Jansen gets his third. Another one straying down leg and caught behind. Mohammed Shami goes for a six-ball duck. India lead by 201 runs. Jasprit Bumrah is the new man. IND - 228/8 (51.5)
4:38 PM IST: Thakur Goes
Marco Jansen with his 13th over. Shardul Thakur gets a top-edge off the second and it sails over long leg boundary for a six. He follows it up with a beauty of a lofted drive for a four. Then, and pulls the fifth for another four. Five fours and a six in 23 balls for Thakur. The ball is damaged. And Thakur goes for 28 off 24... holes out. Catch taken by Keshav Maharaj at deep square leg. 41-run stand in 40 balls. India lead by 198 runs. IND - 225/7 (50)
4:19 PM IST: Thakhur Cuts
Shardul Thakur is taking on Marco Jansen. Three fours in the over, including a brutal cut to backward point off the fifth. And 200 up for the visitors. India lead by 174 runs. IND - 201/6 (46)
4:09 PM IST: Post-lunch Session
Players are back for the post-lunch session. Kagiso Rabada to resume the proceedings. Hanuma Vihari on strike. He is unbeaten on 6 off 26. Shardul Thakur is his partner in the middle. India's lead is 161 runs.
3:30 PM IST: Lunch
Shardul Thakur opens his account with a four, to the mid-wicket boundary. And that's lunch. India lead by 161 runs. 103 runs and four wickets in the session. IND - 188/6 (44)
3:28 PM IST: Ashwin Goes
A little nick down leg side and Ravichandran Ashwin is gone. Caught behind for 16 off 14. Lungi Ngidi gets his first. Shardul Thakur joins Hanuma Vihari. India lead by 157 runs. IND - 184/6 (43.3)
3:22 PM IST: Lead By 150
A cracker from Ravichandran Ashwin. Backfoot punch for a four off the third to sweeper cover for a four. Marco Jansen can only admire it. India lead by 152 runs. IND - 179/5 (42.3)
3:03 PM IST: Pant Goes
Kagiso Rabada tests Rishabh Pant with a nasty bouncer, softening. And the very next ball, Pant charges down and is caught behind. He goes for a three-ball duck. Ravichandran Ashwin is the new man. India lead by 140 runs. IND - 167/5 (38.3)
2:54 PM IST: Pujara Goes
Cheteshwar Pujara given LBW out. India take the review. No bat involved, and it's hitting middle. Kagiso Rabada gets his second. Pujara goes for 53 off 86. Rishabh Pant is the new man. India lead by 136 runs. IND - 163/4 (37)
2:42 PM IST: Rahane Goes
Kagiso Rabada resumes proceedings after drinks and he strikes. A 111-run stand in 143 balls is broken. Ajinkya Rahane undone by a rising delivery, caught behind. He goes for 58 off 78. Hanuma Vihari is the new man. India lead by 128 runs. IND - 155/3
2:31 PM IST: 150 Up
Duanne Olivier with his 7th over. A bye off the third ball and 150 up for India in 33.33 overs. Lead by 123 runs.
2:23 PM IST: Hundred-run Stand
A hundred-run stand in 122 balls with a four, then another one to reach his fifty in 68 balls. Brilliant morning for India. Lead by 121 runs. IND - 148/2 (31.2)
2:15 PM IST: Fifty For Pujara
India scoring at a brisk rate. Seven fours and a six this morning. The two India veterans, fighting to save their respective spots in the team, are batting with gusto, and are in a 93-run stand from 113 runs. Cheteshwar Pujara reaches his 32nd fifty, in 62 balls. Ajinkya Rahane is batting on 43 off 63 balls. India lead by 110 runs. IND - 137/2 (30)
1:55 PM IST: 100 up for India
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are having their time in the middle. The duo combined for four boundaries while Rahane upper cuts Marco Jansen for the first six in the morning. IND - 112/2
1:35 PM IST: Player speak
Lungi Ngidi (SA): On this wicket, one needs to stick to the line outside off and bring the slips into play. Maintaining consistency will be the strategy today.
Two men, whose Test futures are under the scanner, face the challenge of building India's lead on Day 3 of the Wanderers Test in Johannesburg.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, whose top order contribution in recent times have been sub-par, are at in the middle and will aim to score the bulk of the runs after India lost both their openers rather cheaply on Day 2.
Rahane (batting on 11) and Pujara (batting on 35) have produced 41 runs in just 8.2 overs and have showed the right intent against the largely pace-oriented South African attack. The first hour's play will be important for the not out batsmen on Wednesday.
The onus is now on the Indian batsmen to force a win. India lead 1-0 in the three-Test series and if the visitors are looking South Africa in the eye at the Wanderers, it's because of Shardul Thakur, who recorded the best bowling for India against South Africa by taking seven wickets for 61 runs in South Africa’s first innings.
Shardul Thakur's previous best bowling figures were four for 61 against Australia in the second innings at Brisbane in 2020-21. India won that match.