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Ashwin, Yadav keep India firmly on top in 2nd test

October 12, 2019
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Indian cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after the dismissal of Keshav Maharaj during the third day of the second cricket test match between India and South Africa in Pune, India, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
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Indian cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after the dismissal of Keshav Maharaj during the third day of the second cricket test match between India and South Africa in Pune, India, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

PUNE, India (AP) — Off-spinner Ravi Ashwin took four wickets and fast bowler Umesh Yadav picked up three as India maintained its strong grip on the second test against South Africa after day three on Saturday.

South Africa, replying to the home team’s massive 601-5 declared, was bowled out for 275 in its first innings but India decided to delay a decision on whether to enforce the follow-on until Sunday.

Keshav Maharaj shrugged off a sore shoulder, sustained while fielding on day two, to hit 72 down the order for the visitors. He shared a stand of 109 for the ninth wicket with Vernon Philander (44 not out).

“I had lots of bruising but going forward I should be fine,” Maharaj said. “Vernon kept me in a good frame of mind. We wanted to spend as much time as possible out there. It was tough but we managed it well.”

Ashwin finally broke Maharaj’s resistance when he had him caught at leg slip. Then, in the last over of the day, the India spinner trapped Kagiso Rabada lbw for 2. 

The 33-year-old Ashwin became the fourth Indian cricketer to take 50 test wickets against South Africa, emulating Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath and Harbhajan Singh.

Earlier in the day, Faf du Plessis scored 64 to help South Africa rally after slumping to 53-5. He put on 75 for the sixth wicket with Quinton de Kock (31).

India leads the three-match series 1-0.

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