South Africa start steady after India's collapse

Johannesburg, Dec 19 : Fast bowler Vernon Philander ripped through the India lower-order as the visitors suffered a batting collapse losing five wickets for 25 runs and the visitors' first innings collapsed for 280 runs in their first cricket Test against South Africa at the Wanderers here Thursday.

South Africa were 22 for no loss in their first innings with both the openers Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen batting on 11 each at the lunch break. South Africa still trail India by 258 runs.

Philander finished as the top-wicket taker with four for 61 as the Indian innings lasted a little over an hour in the first session.

After some inspiring batting by Virat Kohli (119) on the first day, the Indian batsmen had no clue against the South African pacers on the second day.

Resuming the day at 255 for five, overnight batsmen Ajinkya Rahane (47) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (19) struggled against the pacers.

Dhoni was the first to go in the ninth over of the day, as he poked outside the off against Morne Morkel (3/34) and wicketkeeper AB de Villiers took an easy catch.

Philander struck twice in the next over to remove Rahane and Zaheer Khan in successive deliveries but Ishant Sharma denied him a hat-trick.

Rahane also fell in a similar fashion like that of Dhoni, edging to De Villiers while Zaheer was stranded clueless on the backfoot only to be trapped leg-before.

Though Ishant denied Philander a hat-trick, he became his fourth and 99th Test victim with his stumps rattled. Mohammad Shami was Morkel's third victim as the Indian innings folded quickly.

--IANS (Posted on 19-12-2013)

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