Mohali- The Proteas and India shared the spoils on day one of the first Test at the Punjab Stadium. This makes for riveting viewing in the rest of the Test. Reports Piet Lategan.
The toss is of critical importance in the subcontinent and it was won by the hosts as they did the obvious by batting first. Vernon Philander struck in his first over as he had Shikhar Dhawan caught at first slip by Hashim Amla for a duck. Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara put on 63 for the second wicket to restore some parity for the Indians as Dean Elgar claimed his first of four scalps by trapping Pujara in front for 31. Playing in his Test Debut, Kagiso Rabada performed admirably in foreign conditions for the young fast bowler as he also picked up his first wicket by removing the dangerous, Virat Kohli who was caught by Elgar for one. Simon Harmer eventually accounted for Vijay as he trapped him plum in front for 76.
The rest of the Indian batsmen did not offer much resistance on the deteriorating pitch as Imran Tahir cleaned up the tail with India being dismissed for a mediocre 201 in 68 with Elgar picking up 4/22 as Tahir finished with 2/23 and Philander chipped in with 2/38.
The Proteas took the placid pitch and lost two quick wickets as both Stiaan van Zyl and Faf du Plessis decided to offer no shot to spitting deliveries from ?to be ajudged leg before and bowled respectively. The Proteas strugged to 28/2 off 20 overs at the close of play with Elgar being on 13* and Amla being unbeaten on nine. The Proteas must bat once and bat big in order to put India under severe pressure in the second innings. That however, is easier said than done on a terrible pitch full of demons as we already saw a puff of dust outside the the off stump of the batsmen on day one.
It will be better to fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride for the rest of Test match.