A gorgeous straight drive and Ajinkya Rahane completed his first hundred at home in Test match cricket, as India became the first team to cross, first 250, and then 300 in this Test series. In reply, South Africa crumbled again, leaving this fourth Test firmly in the favour of the hosts.
Day 2 of the fourth Test match at the Feroz Shah Kotla in the capital was quite fruitful for the home team, as Rahane and R Ashwin negated the new ball pretty well before the runs started to flow.
India scored 95 runs in 29 overs in the first session of day two, to go into Lunch on 326/8 in 113 overs, with Rahane (127, 215b, 11x4, 4x6) the only man to lose his wicket. India were then bowled out for 334 in 117.5 overs, 20 minutes into the second session, with Kyle Abbott (24.5-7-40-5) picking up two wickets in an over, of Ashwin (56, 140b, 6x4, 1x6) and Ishant Sharma.
South Africa did OK in the 19 overs to Tea, with Temba Bavuma making an impression, opening the innings in his first match of the series. The only wicket that fell was that of Dean Elgar, who edged one through to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha off the bowling of R Ashwin.
The visitors were on 38/1 in 19 overs, 296 runs adrift of India's first innings total, with the batsmen looking a lot more accomplished out there in the middle.
However, that feeling of accomplishment vanished pretty quickly as Ravindra Jadeja (12-2-30-5) triggered a collapse to bowl South Africa out for 121 in 49.3 overs – India, with a first innings lead of 213, decided against enforcing the follow-on, and with bad light in play, the day's play came to an end.
The left-arm spinner found his range from ball number one and with one turning and the other going straight with the arm, the batsmen not-named-AB-De-Villiers just weren't able to figure the spinner out.
One of those balls that went in with the arm got Bavuma (22, 55b, 3x4), before a tickle through to Saha had Hashim Amla walking back. Faf Du Plessis, so good in defence in the second innings of the third Test in Nagpur, got out to Jadeja off a poor paddle shot, leaving South Africa on 64/4.
It did not get much better from there as the magic ball that comes in on the angle before pitching and straightening got JP Duminy with Umesh Yadav (12-3-32-2) the man celebrating, before another quick ball that hit timber did the trick, with Ishant Sharma (12-5-28-1) dismissing Dane Vilas.
Only you-know-who looked comfortable at the crease for South Africa. AB De Villiers showed why he is a different class, yet again, playing a few wonderful man-that-is-awesome shots, to at least push the score beyond 100, as wickets kept tumbling at the other end, and that too with R Ashwin hardly getting in on the act.
The pressure of running out of partners finally took its toll on the great man as well, with De Villiers (42, 78b, 5x4) holing out at long-off to Ishant Sharma, who took a brilliant catch right on the edge, to give Jadeja his five-for. The final wicket of the innings fell to Ashwin (13.3-5-26-2), as Imran Tahir mishit one to deep midwicket.
Earlier, Rahane and Ashwin built the highest partnership in the series; not too bad considering it was for the eighth wicket. The two put on 98 near-flawless runs together, with the only blemish in that alliance in the morning being when Ashwin was given a life by Hashim Amla, who dropped his third catch of the match, albeit quite a difficult one.
The wicket on day one morning had a lot more for the fast bowlers, with the surface on Day 2 a lot more placid, with very little movement, off the air or the pitch.
Rahane and Ashwin looked pretty comfortable out in the middle, with that comfort only increasing when the spinners came on. Dane Piedt might have been the pick of the bowlers on the opening day, but the off-spinner just wasn't allowed to settle by Rahane, who carted him away for two big sixes.
After the Dean Elgar trial also didn't work, Amla went to the bowler he always seems reluctant to give the ball to – Imran Tahir – and the leg-spinner gave South Africa the much-needed breakthrough. Rahane went for a lofted drive over the offside but only managed to find AB De Villiers at extra cover.
It was the end of what was a brilliant century, a hundred which was brought up by a beautiful straight drive which sped to the ropes.
Ashwin did not lose his concentration following Rahane's wicket, though, getting to his half-century with a big six off Tahir, while Umesh Yadav stayed solid at the other end to take India to Lunch in a strong position.