Pacer Vernon Philander picked up a career-best six-wicket haul as South Africa thrashed India by 72 runs in the low scoring first Test to take a 1-0 lead against India at Newlands, Cape Town, on Monday.
The Test match got completed within four days, including a day that was entirely washed out. The Cape Town Test was full of turns and twists and gave a fitting reply to those who question the future of Test cricket.
Virat Kohli's poor performance in 1st Test against South Africa one of reasons behind India's defeat
We present you a list of turning points from the match that brought us to the edge of our seats.
De Villiers-Du Plessis partnership
After winning the toss, South Africa decided to bat first and failed to start well. Losing their top order, including Dean Elgar (0), Aiden Markram (5) and Hashim Amla (3) early, the hosts were seen struggling at 12/3 in first five overs.
Then came experienced batsmen AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis on rescue. The two batsmen established a 114-run partnership for the fourth-wicket to revive South Africa after early jolts. De Villers scored 65 runs off 84 deliveries, while Du Plessis slammed 62 runs off 104 balls.
For India, debutant Jasprit Bumrah took the scalp of dangerous De Villiers, breaking the 114-run partnership stand to give the visitors some home. Motivated by Bumrah’s breakthrough, Indian pace unit joined in and folded the formidable line-up of South Africa for 286 runs in 73.1 overs.
South African pacers’ early strike
Coming to bat, India failed to put a strong start as South Africa’s pace attack, led by Philander, struck early and the visitors were seen stressed at 92/7 in 42 overs. India’s batting line-up had collapsed like a pack of cards and the pair of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya were fighting for the wounded visitors.
Pandya’s playful knock
Pandya, then, played a responsible innings and put a 99-run partnership stand with Bhuvneshwar (25) for the eight-wicket. Thanks to his 93-run knock, which was well decorated by a six and 14 boundaries, India made 209 runs amid challenging conditions. By this time, South Africa had lost their lethal speedster Dale Steyn to a heel injury.
Rain on Day 3
The third day of the Test witnessed heavy rains in Newlands, which ended the longtime draught at the region. The rain washed out the entire day and gave India some hopes of a win or at least a draw.
Hosts’ collapse and humble target
Indian pacers utilised the rain-marred conditions to the fullest and bundled out South Africa for 130 runs. Now the visitors were just 208 runs away from a Test win and that is when South African pacers came in action.
Philander’s six-wicket haul
Philander led the bowling attack, claiming six wickets for 42 runs, as the hosts wrapped India for 135 runs to seal the Test match. Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada joined in with two wickets each.