CENTURION, South Africa (AP) — Captain Faf du Plessis made a precious half-century to take South Africa past 300 in the second test against India on Sunday.
Du Plessis' 63 dragged his team to 335 all out at SuperSport Park after useful lower-order partnerships of 31 with Keshav Maharaj (18) and 42 with Kagiso Rabada (11) on the second day.
India was hoping for a quicker end to South Africa's first innings after three quick wickets at the end of the first day had the home team wobbling on 269-6 at stumps.
Du Plessis held up India, although the tourists will still be positive after restricting the South Africans to less than 350 on a seemingly good batting pitch.
Having to face one over before the lunch break, India was 4-0 in reply with Murali Vijay sending a cover drive for four off the first ball of the innings. Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj bowled the first over of the innings.
For India, offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin took 4-113 and wrapped up the South African innings when Morne Morkel was caught at long off.
Ishant Sharma justified his selection ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar by taking 3-46, which included the wicket of du Plessis. Sharma clean bowled the home captain to make sure South Africa was kept in check.
The end may have come quicker, with Rabada dropped off successive Ashwin deliveries when South Africa was 289-7.
Top-ranked India trails 1-0 in the three-match series, making the Centurion test a must-win game to have a chance at a first series win in South Africa.