Cape Town, Jan 8: Vernon Philander produced career-best figures as South Africa crushed India by 72 runs on just the fourth day of the opening Test in Cape Town. The Proteas, thus, go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
In a game that finished in just three days - with one full day being wasted by rain - South Africa proved why they are a formidable side at home as they defended a total of 208 runs - their best since readmission. The previous lowest total defended by the Proteas was 249 at home against New Zealand at Centurion, 2006.
India skipper Kohli must be licking his wounds after a shambolic defeat as they were bundled out for 135. Batting is considered to be India's strength but it was their strength that disappointed them.
None of the Indian batsmen lived up to the expectation as they faltered against Proteas' seam and movement.
Philander returned with the impressive figures of 6/42 in the second innings and accounted for the key Indian wickets. The right-handed pacer gave the visitors their initial jolts by removing opener Murali Vijay for 13. He then set up brilliantly to dismiss Virat Kohli (28) by trapping him in front.
India not disgraced in defeat. But as @imVkohli & Co lick their wounds, they'll wonder what may have been with some greater resolve shown. Promise to be a cracker of a series if India take some learnings from this hard lesson— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) January 8, 2018
It was Kohli's dismissal when the scoreboard read 71 opened the floodgates for the Indians. After their skipper's dismissal at a crucial juncture that proved to be fatal for the visitors as next three wickets were removed in a gap of 11 runs. Rohit Sharma (10), Hardik Pandya (1) and Wriddhiman Saha (8) were removed in quick succession and India were pushed on the backfoot from that moment.
Day 4:— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) January 8, 2018
1st session: 8 wkts for 65 runs
2nd session: 7 wkts for 82 runs
Apart from ABD and Kohli, no other batsman could stay on the crease for more than an hour or face 40 balls. #SAvInd
However, R Ashwin (37) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (13*) avoided the inevitable by stitching a partnership of 49 runs for the eighth wicket. After ending Ashwin's knock for 37, Philander got rid of Mohammad Shami (4) and Jasprit Bumrah (0) in the same over to end India's innings.
The fortunes kept switching sides as 18-wickets perished on the fourth day after the play resumed. However, it was the third day's play after the match was abandoned due to incessant rain on Sunday (January 7).
Earlier in the day, Indian bowlers displayed a sensational comeback as they exploited the conditions at the pitch very well and restricted South Africa to 130 in the second innings and set a target of 208 for the batsmen to chase.
It was one of the worst batting collapses for South Africa as the hosts lost their last 8 wickets in a matter of 65 runs. A stupendous bowling effort from the pacers ensured the Proteas lost 8 wickets in the morning session of the game.
Mohammad Shami (3/28) and Jasprit Bumrah (3/39) were the pick of the bowlers for India as they wreaked havoc to claw their way back into the game. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/33) and Hardik Pandya (2/27) picked two wickets apiece.
Shami gave the visitors just the right kind of start they wanted as he dismissed dangerous Hashim Amla for 4. Amla was forced by the speedster to play the ball moving away from him and deflected it straight into Rohit Sharma's hands in the gully cordon.
The last three Tests in South Africa have lasted just eight playing days, with all resulting in a victory for the home side! #SAvIND— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) January 8, 2018
The right-handed pacer got the second breakthrough of the day by getting nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada caught at slip for 5. Then came a memorable spell from debutant Jasprit Bumrah, who dismissed Faf du Plessis (0) and Quinton de Kock (8) cheaply. Both the batsmen could have been dangerous had they stayed late on the crease but Bumrah prevented the damage.
Bumrah's third wicket of the innings was AB de Villiers (35) and thus ended the South African innings for 130. The right-handed slinger achieved a distinction of getting the wickets of AB de Villiers in both the innings.
Bowlers dismssing AB de Villiers in both inns of a Test, this decade:— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) January 8, 2018
BUMRAH, Cape Town, 2018
Mishra, Mohali, 2015
Johnson, Centurion, 2014
Siddle, Adelaide, 2012
Broad, Leeds, 2012#SAvInd
After rain spoiled the third day's play forcing the covers to be drawn all through the day. The pitch was moist and assisted pacers to perfection. Hashim Amla (4*) resumed innings alongside night-watchman Kagiso Rabada (2*).
At stumps on day two, South Africa were 65/2 after their openers - Dean Elgar (25) and Aiden Markram (34) - were dismissed in quick succession despite getting off to a decent start. Both the batsmen were dismissed by Hardik Pandya.
Most dismissals by an Indian Wicket keeper in a Test:— Gautam Sachdev (@Gautyspeaks) January 8, 2018
10 W SAHA v SA, Cape Town, 2018
9 MS Dhoni v Aus, MCG, 2014
8 N Mongia v SA, Durban, 1996
8 N Mongia v Pak, Kolkata, 1999
8 MS Dhoni v Aus, Perth, 2008
8 MS Dhoni v Ban, Mirpur, 2010
8 MS Dhoni v WI, Mumbai WS, 2011#SAvIND
Earlier, South Africa restricted India to 209 in their first innings and took a significant 77-run lead after posting 286 in their first innings. AB de Villiers and skipper Faf du Plessis' half-century resurrected the hosts' innings and scripted a comeback on the first day as they were struggling at 12/3.
As for the Indians, the only highlight for them was the valiant 99-run stand between Pandya (93) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (25) that kept the visitors in the game. At one stage, the hosts were 92/7 but Pandya recovered the tourists' innings and helped them go past 200, which at one stage seemed impossible.
Their stand came to an end with Bhuvneshwar's dismissal when the scoreboard read 191. Pandya, who was looking to slam his second Test century, missed out on a well-deserved ton. After Pandya's departure at 199, Indian innings was restricted to 209.