India launched a late fightback against South Africa on day one of the second Test after Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla had scored half-centuries for the Proteas.
Markram (94) and Amla (82) had helped the hosts to 246-3 before two run outs – one brilliant, one kamikaze – contributed to the hosts closing on 269-6 at SuperSport Park.
Hardik Pandya fielded off his own bowling to run out Amla at the non-striker’s end from short leg, before Vernon Philander’s ball-watching saw him sent packing – Philander (0) jogging through for an attempted single after failing to see Faf du Plessis gesturing at him to stay put.
Markram had earlier passed ninety for the fourth time in seven innings, having struck 143 and 97 against Bangladesh and then 125 against Zimbabwe.
The opener put on 85 with Dean Elgar (31) and then 63 with Amla, before Amla shared stands of 51 and 47 with AB de Villiers (20) and Du Plessis (24no) respectively ahead of the chaos in the final hour, during which Quinton de Kock (0) snicked Ravichandran Ashwin (3-90) behind first ball.
South Africa handed a Test debut to seamer Lungi Ngidi with Dale Steyn ruled out for the rest of the series after bruising his heel in the Proteas’ 72-run win in Cape Town.
India made three changes – Lokesh Rahul replacing Shikhar Dhawan; Ishant Sharma into the seam attack for Bhuvneshwar Kumar; and Parthiv Patel in for Wriddhiman Saha (hamstring) as wicketkeeper.
Patel ended Markram’s innings when he caught him behind off Ashwin – but then dropped Amla on 30 down the leg side off Ishant, the batsman’s second lifeline after Pandya had shelled a tough chance at short mid-wicket when he had 14.
Pandya atoned in fine style, albeit with Amla having added 68 runs to his score by that point, when he sprinted down the wicket and shattered the stumps at the bowler’s end with a dead-eye throw.
The all-rounder then completed the routine task of dislodging the bails to run out Philander after the South Africa seamer’s brain-fade had left him and Du Plessis at the same end.
Watch day two of the second Test between South Africa and India, live on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) and Sky Sports Main Event (channel 401) from 7.55am on Sunday.