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Cricket: Rabada holds up Indian bowlers

South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada turned batsman to defy India's bowlers on the second day of the third and final Test on Thursday.

South Africa, who have already won the three-match series, were 81 for three at lunch in reply to India’s first innings total of 187 at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

The left-handed Rabada batted with discipline, some luck and occasional glimpses of quality to score 30 off 84 balls before he was caught at gully off Ishant Sharma six minutes before lunch.

Rabada and Hashim Amla (32 not out) added 64 for the third wicket on a pitch with cracks and indentations that made survival a challenge, especially in the first hour.

India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara said after scoring 50 on Monday that the pitch was “one of the toughest I have batted on”.

Rabada started batting as a nightwatchman on Wednesday and played out ten balls to see South Africa through to six for one at the close.

He saw overnight partner Dean Elgar caught behind off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, having faced 18 balls without adding to his overnight score of four. He and Amla survived a torrid first hour during which Kumar in particular was almost unplayable in a spell of one for one in six overs.

Gradually, though, the sting was drawn from the bowlers and the pair posted only the second half-century partnership of the match. DM

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