South African captain Faf du Plessis batted cautiously against accurate Indian bowling on the fourth day of the second Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park on Tuesday. South Africa were 230 for seven at tea, an overall lead of 258.
Du Plessis was unbeaten on 37 after batting for more than three hours and facing 122 balls. In the slowest cricket of the series, South Africa scored 57 runs for the loss of two wickets in 27 overs and two-and-a-quarter hours between lunch and tea. Du Plessis and Vernon Philander put on 46 for the sixth wicket in 26 overs. It was slow going but South Africa were clearly intent on not losing more wickets after Mohammed Shami rocked them by taking three wickets in four overs before lunch.
Although the Indian bowling was tight on a slow pitch with increasingly uneven bounce, it was surprising that Shami did not come back into the attack until the last over before tea. He had figures of three for 42. The match seemed to be slipping away from India in the first hour of the day as Dean Elgar and AB de Villiers scored freely, adding 54 runs in 12.1 overs before Shami had De Villiers caught behind in the last over before the morning drinks break.
De Villiers made 80 off 121 balls with ten fours before attempting to nudge a ball backward of square and being deceived by extra bounce. He and Elgar had added 141 for the third wicket after coming together at three for two. Elgar fell soon afterwards for 61 when he hooked Shami to deep square leg where Lokesh Rahul juggled the ball before completing a catch. Quinton de Kock hit three boundaries, all off the edge of his bat, before edging Shami to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel in the same over.