Sarita, Nandini suffer defeat at Worlds

The Pioneer

The Pioneer

Author 2019-10-07 03:09:13

Mohammed Shami’s lethal spell of fast bowling was beautifully complemented by Ravindra Jadeja’s guile as India recorded a resounding 203-run victory over South Africa in the opening encounter of the three-Test series here on Sunday.

The victory consolidated India’s position in the ongoing World Test Championship with another valuable 40 points added to their kitty. India maintain their lead with 160 points.

Chasing an improbable 395-run target, South Africa were expected to put up a fight like they did in the first innings but Shami’s (5/35 in 10.5 overs) fifth five-for topped up by Jadeja’s four-wicket burst saw South Africa dismissed for 191 in 63.5 overs.

Debutant Senuran Muthusamy (49 not out) and Dane Piedt (56 off 107) delayed the inevitable with a fighting 91-run stand for ninth wicket after South Africa collapsed to 70 for eight in the morning.

The pitch, which had played fairly for the first four days with the odd ball surprising the batsman, turned tricky on day five.

The spinners got the ball to turn sharply and the variable bounce also helped the pacers.

The collapse began in the second over of the day when Ravichandran Ashwin castled Theunis de Bruyn (10) with one that turned back sharply from wide outside of the off-stump.

After Ashwin provided the early breakthrough, Shami castled Temba Bavuma (0), Faf du Plessis (13) and first innings centurion Quinton de Kock (0) in two short bursts to break the backbone of South African batting.

Bavuma stayed back to a delivery that kept low while jagging back in while Du Plessis offered a leave to another one which also cut back in, only to see his stumps rattled. Shami got rid of De Kock with a delivery that held its line after pitching.

It became 70 for six in the 27th over when opener Aiden Markram (39) did not get the required elevation and Jadeja took a brilliant one-handed reflex catch off his own bowling.

In the same over, he trapped Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj in front of the stumps off successive balls to make it 70 for eight.

Piedt and Muthusamy frustrated India with their nothing to lose approach. The off-spinner played well to complete his maiden half-cemtury in his eighth Test.

It seemed the game would get over well before lunch but Piedt and Muthusamy took South Africa to 117 for eight at the break. They went on to bat for one hour after lunch with India unable to find to break their stand.

Shami, who provided three quick wickets in the morning, was brought back into the attack noticeably late into the second session and struck on the very first ball with Piedt playing on to this stumps. It was a loosener but potent enough to break the off-stump.

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