India vs South Africa 2019: Indian quicks push visitors on to the backfoot after Rohit Sharma hammers maiden double century
Tense South African faces were a common sight on Day 2 of the Ranchi Test. Double centurion Rohit Sharma and centurion Ajinkya Rahane fired in unison to bury the Proteas under a mountain of runs, as India declared after racking up a colossal first innings total of 497/9.
Twin strikes by the quicks then put the icing on the cake for the hosts, leaving South Africa wobbling at 9/2 when bad light forced early stumps.
Batting on 83 overnight, Rahane produced a mesmerizing cover drive off Anrich Nortje to kick off the day's proceedings. India's middle-order bulwark raced to his 11th Test century, punishing the gentle looseners offered by the undisciplined seamers.
Meanwhile, Rohit wasted little time in putting the hapless attack to the sword. Finding the gaps with surgical precision, the opener garnered runs at will as the guest nation labored in quest of a breakthrough.
Bagging his maiden Test wicket, debutant George Linde eventually terminated Rahane's sublime innings on 115.
Nortje facilitated Rohit's progression towards a mighty double hundred with juicy freebies, which were caressed elegantly through backward point. The batting aficionado crunched an imperious pull over the mid-wicket fence to notch up the landmark.
Next in, Ravindra Jadeja maneuvered the tweakers dexterously to sneak brisk doubles, prolonging the agony for the visitors.
The Proteas heaved a sigh of relief when Rohit miscued an attempted hook on Kagiso Rabada's bumper straight down the throat of Lungi Ngidi at fine leg. Departing for a magnificent 212, Rohit walked off the field to customary handshakes by the opposition players and a standing ovation from the viewers.
While Linde castled Wriddhiman Saha with a regulation arm-ball, Jadeja brought up his fifty with a deft paddle. The southpaw became Linde's third victim, feathering a gripping delivery through to Heinrich Klassen.
Dane Piedt finally entered the wickets column, having Ravichandran Ashwin stumped for 14.
South Africa must have visioned an easy wrap to the Indian innings with the advent of the tail, but Umesh Yadav had other ideas. The pinch-hitter smashed Linde for 5 maximums in his 10-ball stay, leaving the visitors in exasperation before the declaration arrived.
A double-blow to the Proteas batting line-up capped off a perfect outing for the hosts. Dean Elgar tentatively nicked a lifter from Mohammed Shami to the waiting mitts of Saha. Yadav also joined the party, getting an edge off Quinton de Kock with a nasty bouncer.
Left-arm tweaker Shahbaz Nadeem operated in precise channels before the umpires were forced to call early stumps due to poor visibility.
Brief scores: South Africa 9/2 (Mohammed Shami 1-0, Umesh Yadav 1-4) trail India 497/9 decl. (Rohit Sharma 212, Ajinkya Rahane 115, Ravindra Jadeja 51; George Linde 4-133) by 488 runs.