Rain washes out third day’s play of Cape Town Test between South Africa and India

The third day of the Cape Town Test between South Africa and India was washed out due to persistent rain, with the hosts still leading by 142 runs.


Persistent rain washed out the entire third day of the first Test between South Africa and India in Cape Town.(REUTERS)
A nagging rain washed out the third day’s play of the first Test between India and South Africa at the Newlands Stadium here on Sunday. Cape Town has been lashed with sporadic unseasonal rain over the last two weeks but this was probably the longest spell of rainfall it received so far. (SOUTH AFRICA vs INDIA DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS)
There were a couple of times it looked like rain might hold up but there was always a slight drizzle that didn’t allow the groundsmen to completely remove the covers. The India team stayed back in their hotel while the support staff had come to check out the conditions in the morning. The team came to the ground during the scheduled lunch break but left after play was officially called off at 3.30 pm local time. Play will resume on Monday at normal time.
Rain may have washed out an entire day’s play but neither India nor Cape Town will complain. Facing acute water shortage, Cape Town will more than embrace this sudden rain. In fact, some of the local journalists were heard saying that it was the India team that brought the unseasonal rains with them.
India too needed this break to regain their composure and take to the field with a specific plan. On the backfoot after conceding a 77-run lead in the first innings, India were further pushed to the corner on Saturday with the South African openers aggressively compiling 52 runs in the first 15 overs.
Hardik Pandya removed both Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar later but with Hashim Amla at the crease and Kagiso Rabada shielding AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis as nightwatchman, South Africa know they have the batsmen to work on the overall 142-run lead into a target beyond India’s capability. India batting mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara however reckoned on Saturday that they can chase any total in the region of 350.
Considering the pace with which this Test was progressing, an early finish was on the cards. But now it definitely looks like play will stretch till the fifth day. Unless the India seamers come up with an inspired spell of bowling, South Africa could run away with the game. But Sunday’s rainfall meant the pitch stayed under covers for the entire day. This will lead to a considerable amount of sweating of the pitch so there should be some juice in it for India’s seamers to exploit.
Resources : Hindustan Times

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