South Africa got off to a fine start in the second cricket Test against India, reaching 78/0 in their first innings till lunch on the first day at the SuperSport Park here on Saturday.
After South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat, opening batsmen Aiden Markram (51 batting) and Dean Elgar (26 batting) batted sensibly as they were in control mode against the Indian bowlers.
The 23-year-old right-hander Markram registered his second fifty with the help of nine fours. He was the aggressor of the two, while Elgar batted with steely resolve and backed his defensive techniques to the hilt.
On a bouncy wicket with less seam and swing as compared to the Newlands wicket in the first Test, Indian pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Harik Pandya operated with probing line and length.
Ishant replaced Bhuvneshwar Kumar for this match, while injured glovesman Wriddhiman Saha made way for Parthiv Patel. Another change was Lokesh Rahul replacing Shikhar Dhawan.
Mohammed Shami disappointed by bowling fully-pitched deliveries which were milked by Markram.
Markram also punished Pandya when he unleashed deliveries higher up the pitch late towards the lunch session.
In his second spell, Bumrah was off-colour, going for three fours in an over.
When South Africa were 61/0, India sought a review after the umpire turned down a caught behind appeal against Elgar off off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. But the umpire’s decision remained with the snickometer giving no sign of the ball kissing the bat.
Brief scores: South Africa: 78/0 (Aiden Markram 51 batting, Dean Elgar 26 batting) vs India till lunch on Day 1.