Veteran India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin achieved a couple of unique feats after dismissing Keegan Petersen in the second Test match against South Africa at Wanderers, Johannesburg. The ace spinner got the crucial wicket of the South Africa batter in the final session of Day 3 to bring India back in the game. With the wicket, Ashwin has now become only the second Indian spinner after Anil Kumble to take a Test wicket in Johannesburg. The bouncy track of Jo’burg has witnessed some scintillating spells from the fast bowlers but spinners have failed to get much from the surface.
Spin great Kumble has claimed 17 Test wickets in Johannesburg, while his last came way back in 2006 and now Ashwin has joined the elusive tally by dismissing the Proteas batter. Petersen (28) added 46 with his skipper Dean Elgar before Ashwin (1/14) got one to drift and turn getting a leg before decision going his way. The premier spinner is playing his second Test match in Jo’burg as he remained wicketless during his maiden Test at the venue in 2013.
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Ashwin also achieved another unique feat with the wicket as after Pakistan’s Shadab Khan in January 2019, he became the first spinner to take a Test wicket in Johannesburg. A total of 111 wickets fell during the tenure between Shadab and Ashwin’s wickets as 109 were shared by the pacers while the two of them were run-outs.
Meanwhile, South African batters, led by their gutsy skipper Dean Elgar, dug their heels in to reach within 122 runs of a series-levelling victory against a determined India as the second Test seemed poised for a gripping fourth day finish on Wednesday.
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Elgar (46 batting off 121 balls) took some nasty blows off deliveries that spat off the cracks but kept his team on course at 118 for 2 in pursuit of a tricky 240-run target set by India in the wake of a solid century-plus partnership from the under-fire duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.
Shardul Thakur (1/21), who is in the middle of a great Test match, got his eighth victim of the game in an over during which the ball seamed, bounced and kept low from the same spot with the last one finding opener Aiden Markram’s (31) pads.
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