Sometimes, a Test match can be absorbing without many runs being scored and without any wicket being dismissed.
Saturday's fourth day's proceedings of the third Test here at the Wanderers were exactly that. The South African batsmen -- who were all at sea on a difficult pitch on Friday, forcing an early call-off of the day negotiated the Indian attack effectively but run-making wasn't easy. Dean Elgar, who was struck three times on Friday, handled the pacers more proficiently while Hashim Amla looked in usual control.
At lunch, South Africa had inched to 69 for one with Elgar (29 n.o.) and Amla (27 n.o.) having added 64 runs between them. After gathering 58 runs from 19.3 overs in the morning session, South Africa now need 172 runs to sweep the series 3-0.
The awkward bounce that made batsmen from either side hop, skip and jump at the crease and risk getting seriously hurt, was conspicuous by its absence but batting wasn't still easy. The ball still seamed and overcast conditions aided some swing and batsmen had to show great application to come through the session that started an hour behind the schedule due to morning showers.
The use of the heavy roller before the start of day's play and cloud cover seemed to have made batting conditions a lot easier. With the sun coming out just before lunch break and the cracks likely to open up later in the day, it remains to be seen how the pitch behaves.
Brief scores: India: 187 all out and 247 all out vs South Africa: 194 all out and 69/1 in 28 overs.