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India stand firm against disciplined Proteas

India stand firm against disciplined Proteas

South Africa needed half-centuries by AB de Villiers (65) and Du Plessis (62), and a rally from its tailenders, to get close to 300.

India's batsmen also struggled on a green surface in Cape Town.

Less than three overs after de Villiers' dismissal, du Plessis, who had narrowly survived an lbw review by India, was gone edging Pandya behind.

Steyn returned to test cricket for the match after 14 months on the sidelines with a career-threatening shoulder injury.South Africa's Aiden Markram (34) was the first wicket to fall in their second innings, having looked fluent at the crease until he top-edged a rising delivery from Hardik Pandya (2-17) to Bhuvneshwar Kumar at a deep point.

De Villiers hit Bhuvneshwar for four boundaries and took a single.

He then proceeded to have Hashim Amla caught behind for three runs, which left the Proteas reeling at 12/3. The De Villiers-Du Plessis partnership was followed by a sixth wicket stand of 60 off 54 balls from Quinton de Kock and Philander, and there were useful contributions from the tailenders.

Things went just a little ragged both on the bowling and fielding front for SA toward the end of the Indian innings, which had once tottered on 92 for seven, but in the period in which they dismantled the cream of the Indian batting, the relentless pressure applied by all of Steyn, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel was massively instrumental in that stranglehold.

India No 3 Cheteshwar Pujara was not troubled, though, with the slow pace of scoring and maintained his composure throughout to remain unbeaten on 26 at the interval.

Someone like Rabada, for example, was really freed up to "let it go" and did so quite venomously at times, at one stage bowling three or four deliveries on the trot at more than 145km/h and showing a zeal for rapping fingers, midriffs or ribs, into the bargain.

Dhawan was on his way back to the pavilion the very next over as he was caught and bowled by Steyn for a quickfire 16.

Steyn in fact was getting into the groove as he had figures of 2 for 51 with wickets of opener Shikhar Dhawan and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha during his comeback Test.

India ended day one on 28/3 and will continue batting on Saturday at 10:30 local time or 08:30 GMT.

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