Pandya thrills Newlands and revives India with stunning counter-attack


Hardik Pandya wowed Newlands with a stunning, counter-attacking innings that spectacularly revived Indian hopes on day two of the first Test against South Africa.

India were facing a huge first-innings deficit on Saturday as they slumped from 28-3 overnight to 92-7 in reply to South Africa's total of 286 all out.

However, Pandya then dominated a restorative eighth-wicket stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar - the all-rounder thumping 81 not out from just 68 balls to take India to tea on 185-7.

Bhuvneshwar was unbeaten on 24 at the end of the afternoon session, having held up an end impressively as his partner took the attack to the Proteas' high-class bowling unit.

There were two early scares for Pandya against Dale Steyn, who saw a successful appeal for caught behind overturned on review before having the 24-year-old dropped in the gully by Dean Elgar on 15.

Yet it was not long before Pandya was seizing the initiative in thrilling fashion, boldly upper-cutting Morne Morkel for four and then swiping the same bowler over cover to bring up his fifty with a 10th boundary.

Pandya, who hit a maiden Test hundred from just 86 balls against Sri Lanka in August, also took 12 off an eventful first over for Keshav Maharaj, which saw Quinton De Kock miss a stumping chance with the batsman on 71.

The runs also started to flow for the initially becalmed Bhuvneshwar before tea, which arrived with India 101 runs in arrears.