India rushed through South Africa batting order on the fifth and final day of the first Test in Visakhapatnam to leave them in tatters at 117/8 at lunch. Resuming on their overnight total of 11/1, South Africa collapsed in quick time, a stark contrast to the resolve their batters showed in the first innings, in chase of 395 on Sunday.
Scorecard | Commentary
The seeds of the collapse were set as early as the second over, Ravichandran Ashwin’s first, of the morning. He cleaned up Theunis de Bruyn (10) for his 350th Test wicket to become the joint-quickest to the landmark. Mohammed Shami (3/21) followed up with a wicket of his own in the following over leaving Temba Bavuma (0) on all fours, uprooting the stumps.
At 20/3, the tourists were on a shaky ground. Captain Faf du Plessis joined Aiden Markram to ride the nervy phase. Markram, a little adventurous, tried counterattacking. Slowly, the score moved forward with the pair adding 32 runs for the fourth wicket. And just then, Shami produced a moment of magic, an inswinger that left Du Plessis with a wry smile as it jagged back sharply, with the South African shouldering arms on 13. First innings centurion Quinton de Kock registered a duck becoming Shami’s third victim as the tourists lost half their side for 60 in 23.1 overs.
Ravindra Jadeja (4/51), whom Markram had hit for consecutive fours earlier, then took the centrestage with three wickets in an over. He first completed a stunning one-handed return catch to end Markram’s innings on 39 before trapping Vernon Philander (0) and Keshav Maharaj (0) to put India on the brink.
However, Dane Piedt (32*) and Senuran Muthusamy (19*) put up a late resistance to push the match into another session with a an unbroken 47-run stand for the ninth wicket.
Brief Scores: South Africa 431 and 117/8 (Aiden Markram 39, Dane Piedt 32*; Ravindra Jadeja 4/51 ) need 278 runs to win vs India 502/7 and 323/3d