India stretch Test lead over South Africa

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  • Virat Kohli
    Virat Kohli
    Indian cricketer
  • Rishabh Pant
    Rishabh Pant
    Indian cricketer

India have stretched their lead over South Africa to 143 runs in the decisive final Test as Rishabh Pant made an attacking and unbeaten half-century.

Pant was 51 not out from 60 balls and captain Virat Kohli 28 not out, taking India to 4-130 in their second innings at lunch on day three in Cape Town and into a position of strength in their quest to finally win a Test series in South Africa.

But it didn't come easily.

South Africa struck twice in the first two overs of the day in a blistering start. Cheteshwar Pujara was out for 9 on the second ball of the day and to a flying catch at leg slip by Keegan Petersen.

Ajinkya Rahane followed for 1 in the next over as India, who were 2-57 overnight, suddenly found temselves 4-58.

Kohli played an exceptionally cautious innings through to lunch to make sure there was no more damage, with his 28 coming off 127 balls at a strike rate of 22, an unusually defensive effort from one of the world's most talented batsmen.

But it was what India needed after those early blows, and the tourists were heading toward a strong and possibly series-winning lead.

Kohli's caution enabled Pant to play his natural, attacking game and he hit four fours and a six to keep India scoring.

A fourth innings target of over 200 has been successfully chased only three times in 133 years at Newlands.

India quick Jasprit Bumrah finished with figures of 5-42 as South Africa were dismissed for 210 on day two, to give the tourists a narrow 13-run first-innings lead.

The three-test series is at 1-1 after India won the first match and South Africa hit back in the second.

India, the top-ranked team in the world, are on their eighth test tour to South Africa and still trying to clinch a first series win in the country.

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