Pune: Tail-enders Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander set an example of gutsy batsmanship as South Africa fought hard against a quality attack but could not stop India from taking a massive 326-run lead on the third day of the second Test here.
While a total of 275 in 105.4 overs is far from India’s mammoth first innings total of 601, the 119-run ninth wicket stand between Philander and an injured Maharaj showed what the top-order could have done had they shown some stomach for fight.
The highlights of the afternoon session was all about relentless pressure created by Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
South Africa’s most experienced pair of skipper Faf du Plessis (64) and Quinton de Kock (31) tried to resurrect the innings with a quick stand of 75 runs but Ashwin removed the latter before lunch to make matters worse for the visitors.
Ashwin removed De Kock with a classical off-break that pitched on the middle and the southpaw was squared up and beaten trying to play for the turn with bails clipped.
Mohammad Shami celebrates the dismissal of Enrich Nortje.