India in tatters at 139/6 at tea

India in tatters at 139/6 at tea
Skipper Virat Kohli's promising innings was cut short by a freak dismissal as India were reeling at 139 for six at tea against South Africa in the fourth and final cricket Test, here today.

Kohli had raced to 44, his highest score in the series, and looked good but was dismissed by South Africa's most successful bowler -- off-spinner Dane Piedt -- who had figures of 4/56 to show for his efforts.

It was a flighted delivery and Kohli hit a full blooded sweep shot. But to his horror, the ball popped up after rebounding off the thigh of forward short-leg fielder Temba Bavuma and wicketkeeper Dane Vilas rushed from his position to dive forward and completed an impressive catch.

Kohli struck seven boundaries in 62 balls, adding 70 runs with Ajinkya Rahane for the fourth wicket.

At the break, Rahane was undefeated on 31 with three boundaries. But it will certainly be Rohit Sharma (1), whose irresponsible shot selection will be talked about for a long time to come.

Having been dropped at slip on 0 by Hashim Amla off Kyle Abbott's bowling, Rohit decided to give Piedt the charge by lofting a flighted delivery but only to be caught by the fielder stationed at long on for that exact shot.

Wriddhiman Saha (1) was done in by a sharp inswinger from Abbott (2/21) as umpires called for tea. It was Kohli, who certainly looked the best player amongst the top order batsmen hitting a flurry of fours -- as many as five within the first 35 balls. There were a couple of assured drives and a short-arm pull off Morkel. A whip off the back-foot off Piedt also raced to boundary.

He found an able ally in Rahane, who also found some form going his way, as the duo added 50 runs for the fourth wicket in only 48 minutes facing 67 balls.

Not only did they score quickly, they also showed the earlier batsmen that there were no demons in the pitch which made it even difficult to fathom some of the poor shot selections especially by Rohit, who has now wasted another golden opportunity to settle down in the Test team.

The turn was very slow, which gave Kohli and Rahane enough time to adjust and play their strokes. Earlier, having restricted the run flow during the first session, the Proteas bowlers attacked in the post lunch session as they dismissed Dhawan (33) and Pujara (14) in quick succession to reduce the hosts to 66 for three.

It was Piedt again who bowled an off-break that caught Dhawan not lunging fully forward and offering his pad to be adjudged plumb in-front. Dhawan's 33 came off 85 balls with four boundaries to his credit.

The loudest cheer from the school children, who had come to watch the first day's play, was reserved for skipper Kohli.

But to Kohli's dismay, Pujara was soon sent back to the dressing room by Abbott. It was delivery that moved in after pitching as it sneaked in breaching Pujara's defence to hit the stumps. The dismissal due to the gap between bat and pad was something identical that had trouble the Saurashtra player in Australia, last year.

This was the fourth time in the series when skipper Kohli won the toss and immediately opted to make first use of the Kotla track.

It was a sedate start by the Indian openers as Vijay and Dhawan scored 29 in the first 15 overs. Vijay was lucky to get a reprieve on personal score of 10 when Abbott delivery that saw him edge one to AB de Villiers at second slip was rightly ruled 'no-ball' by the third umpire CK Nandan.

However, India's most consistent batsman, who looked scratchy from the start, could not capitalise on it, uncharacteristically pushing a straighter one from Piedt to find Hashim Amla pouch one at the first slip.

His 84-minute stay yielded only 12 runs as the first wicket fell at 30.

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