New Delhi: South Africa rode on debutant pacer Lungi Ngidi’s superlative show to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series against India at the SuperSport Park, Centurion on Wednesday. Ngidi, in the team in place of injured express bowler Dale Steyn, picked up six wickets as South Africa mauled India by 135 runs on the final morning of the second cricket Test. The Test series loss is also Virat Kohli’s first as India skipper.Also Read - Appreciate His Decision: Madan Lal on Virat Kohli Stepping Down as T20I Captain
After Cheteshwar Pujara, who was caught just short of the crease after going for the third run only to see de Kock knocking off the bails following a superlative throw from the deep by AB de Villiers, the Indian batsmen threw in the towel as Ngidi (6/39) ran amok. The visitors were sent back packing for just 151 in the first session itself, which was extended by 15 minutes, on the final day, as the wicket counter kept on moving at a brisk pace. Also Read - Hope Virat Kohli Wins T20 World Cup & Signs Off as India T20I Captain on High: Dilip Vengsarkar
South Africa scored 335 in their first innings but manage to take a crucial 28-run lead after bowling out India for 307, a score made possible only by Kohli’s 153. In the second essay, the hosts were shot out for 258 as the Indian pacers made it tough for the South African batsmen. But the target of 287 was also going to be a tough task on a pitch which was favouring the fast bowlers. Given the depth of pace talent in the South African team, it was always going to be an almost insurmountable task for Kohli’s team which needed to create to new record at the SuperSport Park to win the Test to level the series. Also Read - MSK Prasad Feels Bio-Bubble Life Key Reason Behind Virat Kohli's Decision to Quit T20I Captaincy
With the first three wickets including that of Kohli falling on Day 4 for just 26 runs, it was a matter of time before South Africa wrapped up the match. Starting at 35/3 on the final morning, the task before the Indian batsmen was to stick to the crease for as long as possible but going by the way some of them threw their bat and ran, it was clear that the visitors had lost the stomach for a fight.
The only partnership of note that India managed was between Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami for the eight wicket which saw the duo adding 54 runs. Apart from Rohit’s 47, none of the Indian batsmen made a mark in the final innings of the match.
Parthiv Patel (19) followed Pujara after he was caught by a diving Morne Morkel off Kagiso Rabada. All-rounder Hardik Pandya’s habit of poking at the rising and away-going delivery saw stumper Quinton de Kock taking a splendid catch off Ngidi to make it 83/6 and it was a matter of time before the Indian innings folded. The young pacer was on fire now as he had Ravichandran Ashwin (3) caught behind.
Rohit (47) and Mohammad Shami only delayed the inevitable. Rohit’s 74-ball stay came to end when a diving AB de Villiers scooped the ball just inches off the ground at long leg. Ngidi got Shami and Jasprit Bumrah to complete his dream debut and ended India’s misery as the tourists folded for 151.