Shardul Thakur brought up his career-best performance at the Wanderers Stadium on the Day 2 of the second Test against South Africa that helped India make a comeback after being bundled out for 202 in their first innings. South Africa’s response was a strong one, looking steady at 88 for the loss of only one wicket before lunch. However, with the responsive pitch in sight, Thakur made full use of it and turned things around for the visiting team. Thakur dismissed Dean Elgar (28) and Keegan Petersen (62) after the pair put on 74 for the second wicket. He followed up by having Rassie van der Dussen caught behind for one, although replays shown during the lunch interval suggested wicketkeeper Risabh Pant may have taken the ball on the bounce.
Temba Bavuma (51) and Kyle Verreynne (21) added 60 for the sixth wicket before Thakur trapped Verreynne leg before wicket and had Bavuma caught down the leg side by Pant. Thakur then ended some tail-end resistance by taking the last two wickets off successive balls.
Watching Thakur’s heroics and historic seven-for, cricket fans especially from India, broke into customary celebrations as they crowned the all-rounder with “Lord Shardul” memes yet again, lauding the cricketer’s contribution.
“We are living in Lord Shardul era,” the Internet collectively said.
India ended Day 2 with 85/2 on the scoreboard. Cheteshwar Pujara remained unbeaten for 35 while Ajinkya Rahane put up 11 on the board. India currently lead by 58 runs and it’ll be an exciting day of cricket when the Indian batters come out on Wednesday.
(With AFP inputs)
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