India Crushes South Africa and Leads the Series
Leher Reddy Challuri DP 1
On the final day, Mohammad Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Dane Piedt, and Semuan Muthusamy starred for their respective teams as India sunk South Africa to win by 203 runs.
The day began badly for South Africa, with Theunis de Bruyn dismissed in the 11th over, bowled by a delivery that turned in sharply. In the very next over, Temba Bavuma was bowled for a second-ball duck from a pacy delivery that kept low. Aiden Markram began to open his arms against the spinners, hitting them over the boundary and playing some good shots along the ground as well, also getting a luck boundary off an edge along the way. Faf du Plessis played with good intent, hitting 3 boundaries, clipping and driving the ball. However, he was dismissed in the 22nd over for 13, leaving a good-length delivery that came in and crashed into his off-stump.
Markram continued batting aggressively, but at the other end, Quinton de Kock was dismissed for a second-ball duck in the 24th over, missing a delivery that crashed into his off-stump. The miracle 27th over brought about more misery for South Africa, who lost Markram for 39 off 74 deliveries as his lofted shot produced a wonderful jump catch to give Jadeja a caught-and-bowled. Vernon Philander was dismissed for a three-ball duck after a review from India showed he was out LBW. Keshav Maharaj was out the very next delivery for a first-ball duck, adjudged LBW, with a review not helping his cause. From 70-5, South Africa went to 70-8 in one over.
Dane Piedt, new to the crease, took his chances against the spinners, slogging to the leg-side, the covers and over the sidescreens, but it paid off as he top-scored for South Africa, scoring his maiden half-century for South Africa in tests. Semuran Muthusamy, similar to last time around, played a dogged innings with few boundaries, but exhibited a solid defense once again, and he wasn’t caught on the crease as often. The pair put up a partnership worth 91 runs, the highest of the innings. With a no.10 getting a half-century and the 9th wicket partnership being worth more than the entirety of what the rest of the batsman scored, the top and middle-order batsman must have wondered what the situation in the game had been had they persisted and showed a little more patience.
Piedt eventually perished, fetching for a delivery outside the off-stump and chopping onto his stumps for 56 off 107 deliveries, ending a wonderful knock. Kagiso Rabada got himself a few boundaries on the on and off-side along with a six as Muthusamy was nearing a maiden half-century. Jadeja missed a chance to run Rabada out, but that didn’t matter as soon enough, he was dismissed, edging off to the keeper for 18, with South Africa’s innings folding for 191 off 63.5 overs. Muthusamy was unfortunate to miss out on a half-century, finishing the innings not out once again for 49* off 108 deliveries.
Ishant was economical without success, recording decent figures of 0-18 off 7 overs. Ravichandran Ashwin could not replicate his heroics from the first innings, but did have a wicket to show for his efforts and was economical, recording figures of 1-44 off 20 overs. Ravindra Jadeja recorded great figures of 4-87 in 25 overs, providing the highlight over that saw South Africa lost three wickets at once without a run scored. The star of the innings, however, was Mohammad Shami, recording his 5th 5-wicket haul and excellent figures of 5-35 off 10.5 overs, even breaking a stump on one occasion.
South Africa’s woes against spin in the subcontinent continue, but they must find a way to combat it, and fast. They let the chance to draw the game slip, and India is a quality side that more often than not, controls the game. If South Africa is to draw, let alone win the series, they will have to recover quickly from the defeat. How will they respond? Join us on the 10th of October for the coverage of the second test between these two cricketing giants!