Grounds staff remove tarpaulin from the crease on day three of the first Test match between South Africa and India, which was called off due to rain

Cape Town (AFP) - Rain prevented any play on the third day of the first Test between South Africa and India at Newlands on Sunday, but with fine weather expected for the remaining two days there is still a good chance of a result.

South Africa were on 65 for two in their second innings – an overall lead of 142 – at the close of play on Saturday.

With a potential 98 overs on both Monday and Tuesday, the bowlers of both sides will be hoping for more success on a pitch which has helped the fast bowlers.

South Africa will be without fast bowler Dale Steyn, who suffered a left heel injury on Saturday. He was consulting a specialist on Sunday and was not at the ground but initial estimates were that he would be out of action for between four and six weeks.

Unseasonal rain fell for much of the day across drought-stricken Cape Town. There was a brief break in the weather at lunch-time when the ground staff started to remove the covers, only for rain to return.

Brief scores:

South Africa, first innings, 286

India, first innings, 209

South Africa, second innings, 65-2 in 20 overs (A. Markram 34; H. Pandya 2-17)

Match situation: South Africa lead by 142 runs with eight wickets remaining in the second innings.

Toss: South Africa