Hamza Fifty From Side To Side, HER Butterflies Again > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Hamza fifty aside, SA falter again

Bavuma once again failed to convert a good start

Faf du Plessis knows where his off-stump is. Except when he doesn't; when the bails fly off the grooves in choreographed betrayal, leaving the off-stump feeling as barren as the batsmen who are to follow.

That's not a very inaccurate description of how Umesh Yadav got India rolling on the third morning, beating du Plessis with a hint of sideways movement with the fifth ball bowled in the session. India went into lunch adding four more wickets to their overnight tally, leaving South Africa high and dry for the umpteenth time this series.

Shahbaz Nadeem's maiden Test wicket of Temba Bavuma, who was stumped, was sandwiched by Ravindra Jadeja's dismissals of Zubayr Hamza and Heinrich Klaasen but what transpired in the middle overs is a story to tell.

That's when Hamza brought up his maiden Test fifty, taking India by surprise after early demons in the pitch pointed to yet another batting meltdown. Umesh had gotten a delivery skittling under Bavuma's bat -- that, soon after beating du Plessis on the outside edge. Mohammed Shami had beaten Bavuma with extra bounce. It was difficult out there, with the early morning moisture and the barren cracks on the pitch acting up at different times.

Hamza battled all that, playing softly through the slip cordon when he wasn't playing straight. Both Shami and Umesh got a tapping, hit both on the off-side and the leg-side for boundaries. A flurry of them meant that the third slip as taken off. On came Ravi Ashwin, with his experimental around-the-wicket angle. Two slips, a leg slip but no return. Hamza had used the cover region to pick up runs and foiled that plan too.

Ashwin conceded 37 runs in his six overs but as is the case -- when he doesn't get you, Jadeja will. There was admittedly more help for spinners from the end Jadeja was bowling, but the dismissals were down to him outwitting the batsman. After Hamza survived India's review (the ball was going down leg), Jadeja bowled the arm-ball quicker and straighter. Not anticipating that, Hamza made room and lost his stumps, the realization that you don't do that against Jadeja coming to him a bit late.

That 120 runs were scored in the session was down to a counter-attacking 91-run stand for the fifth wicket between Bavuma and Hamza. Both were back in the pavilion by Lunch though, a testament to how India have always found a way this series.

Brief Scores: South Africa 129 for 6 (Zubayr Hamza 62, Temba Bavuma 32; Ravindra Jadeja 2-12, Umesh Yadav 2-39) trail India 497/9 decl by 368 runs.

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