New Delhi: South Africa successfully defended a modest total 208 runs against India in the first Test at Newlands in Cape Town thanks to Vernon Philander’s impressive bowling. The pacer finished with figures of 6/42 to stop India from registering a historic win. The visitors were bundled out for just 135 runs in their second innings. With this win, South Africa take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Interestingly, this was the third lowest target India failed to chase down in a Test match. The other two being 120 vs West Indies (Bridgetown 1997) and 176 vs Sri Lanka (Galle 2015). Also Read - Dream11 IPL: MS Dhoni Has Left Behind Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar in Terms of Popularity: Sunil Gavaskar
It wasn’t a usual day at Newlands. After rain completely washed out day three, both the teams were forced to rethink their strategies. With pitch being under covers for over 24 hours, Indian bowlers made full use of the moisture and made life difficult for South African batsmen. Also Read - MI vs CSK Dream11 IPL 2020: Rohit Sharma Could Edge Virat Kohli's Record Against MS Dhoni's Team
India started exactly the way they would have wanted and discussed overnight. Mohammad Shami removed Hashim Amla early to his side some hope. He didn’t stop there and went on to dismiss nightwatchman Kagiso Rababda as well. Also Read - IPL 2020: All The Major Team And Individual Records From Previous Seasons
After Shami, it was debutant Jasprit Bumrah’s turn to rattle the home side. Bumrah removed South African captain Faf du Plessis and wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock in quick succession to leave hosts in trouble at 96/7.
Shami further dented South Africa as he removed Vernon Philander. It was then Keshav Maharaj who did well to support AB de Villiers and took the home side’s lead past the 200-run mark.
The hosts were eventually bundled for just 130 runs with Bumrah accounting for De Villiers’ wicket. And thus India were set a target of 208 runs.
For a brief period, Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan started off well with caution. However, Vijay survived twice after being given LBW and caught behind with the help of DRS.
South Africa then draw much needed first blood in the eight over when More Morkel had Dhawan caught at gully. Six balls later Vijay was caught at third slip by De Villiers off Philander as India slipped from 30/0 to 30/2.
The onus then was on Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Virat Kohli to bail India out of the trouble. But that wasn’t the case. Pujara was caught behind thanks to Morkel’s superb delivery.
Following Pujara’s dismissal, Rohit Sharma then joined Kohli and the duo did keep South African bowlers at bay for a little period. A 32-run stand between Kohli and Rohit then came to an end with Philander trapping the Indian captain in front of the wickets.
An over later, Philander removed Rohit and further dented India’s chances of registering a rare win.
After Philander, Kagiso Rabada struck twice to make it 82/7 for India. Rabada removed Hardik Pandya and Wriddhiman Saha. With the latter falling at the brink of a tea break.
Ravi Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed some fight with a 49-run stand for the right wicket, but it took Philander just one over to wrap things up for hosts. Philander in space of four balls dismissed Ashwin, Shami and Bumrah to hand India 72-run defeat.