Cape Town, Jan 7: Incessant rain all through the day forced the umpires to call off third day's play without a ball being bowled in the opening Test between India and South Africa on Sunday (January 7).
Earlier, rain washed out the first two sessions at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town and later the 'supper soppers' too were reported to be damaged, forcing the officials to call off the day's play.
Play will resume on Monday (January 8) at its scheduled time while 8 overs have been added to the remaining days' play i.e. 98 overs will be bowled on the fourth and fifth day of the match.
This is not what South African wanted to see after being firmly in the driving seat with a lead of 142 and some very dangerous players still to bat who can change the game in a blink of an eye.
However, the rain definitely brought some respite to the drought-hit city of Cape Town and has also ensured this match finishes on the final day if rain-gods show mercy on penultimate day and play resumes on time.
Am told max 196 overs left. So assume about 185. If South Africa are in a position to set a target they will need a minimum of 70 overs. Could still be a thrilling end https://t.co/YPQ9T2Klqb— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 7, 2018
Indian bowlers would be hoping to exploit the damp conditions from the pitch after the rainy spell on day four and once the covers are removed. The Proteas would resume their second innings from 65/2 and hope to pile on massive lead against tourists to get into the driver's seat.
At stumps on day two, South Africa were 65/2 after their openers - Dean Elgar (25) and Aiden Markram (34) - were dismissed in quick succession despite getting off to a decent start. Both the batsmen were dismissed by Hardik Pandya.
Hashim Amla (4*) would resume innings alongside night-watchman Kagiso Rabada (2*).
Earlier, South Africa restricted India to 209 in their first innings and the Proteas took a significant 77-run lead.
It was valiant 99-run stand between Pandya (93) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (25) that kept the visitors alive in the game. At one stage, India were 92/7 but Pandya resurrected the tourists' innings. Their stand came to an end with Bhuvneshwar's dismissal when the scoreboard read 191. Pandya, who was looking to slam his second Test century, missed out on a well-deserved ton.
After Pandya's departure at 199, Indian innings were restricted to 209. Earlier, India found themselves in neck deep trouble soon after lunch session when they lost well set Cheteshwar Pujara, R Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha cheaply. The South African pace quartet of Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn bowled relentlessly to keep the visitors under pressure.
Dale Steyn, on his comeback to Test cricket, suffered a heartbreaking heel injury whilst bowling during the Indian first innings. He has been ruled out of the remainder of this Test, and the series as a result.