South Africa beat India by 72 runs in Newlands thriller

Author: DILEEP PREMACHANDRANMon, 2018-01-08 17:42ID: 1515424164192143400CAPE TOWN: After the third day’s play was completely washed out, only 64 overs were bowled on the fourth at Newlands. But that was enough time for this thrill-a-minute Test to career to a conclusion, as 18 wickets fell for the addition of just 200 runs. South Africa, with Vernon Philander matchless in these conditions – he now has 47 wickets at 16.34 from eight Tests in Cape Town – eased to a 72-run victory after bowling India out for 135 after lunch.
Philander dismissed Murali Vijay in his first six-over spell, and then returned to knock the stuffing out of India in another six-over spell that saw him trap Virat Kohli (28) leg before and bowl Rohit Sharma. After tea, Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar added 49 to induce some nervousness in the South African ranks, and Faf du Plessis, the captain, went to his trump card to seal the deal.
He needed just four balls to do so. Ashwin, who batted with poise and fluency for his 37, was caught behind by Quinton de Kock, standing up to the stumps, and Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah both edged to du Plessis in the slip cordon.
Those two, in particular, would have been distraught by the manner in which India’s batsmen folded, having bowled magnificently in an opening session that saw India pick up 8 for 65. Shami started the South African slide by having Hashim Amla caught at gully, and then forced Kagiso Rabada, the nightwatchman, to fend one to the slips.
Bumrah, on debut, then came into his own, summoning up a beast of a delivery that du Plessis could only glove behind. He then went round the wicket to de Kock, who got the thinnest of inside edges through to Wriddhiman Saha, who finished with an Indian record ten catches for the match.
AB de Villiers made 35 before being last out, and South African spirits were undoubtedly lifted by the sight of Dale Steyn coming out to bat in a moon boot. As it turned out, his skills with the ball weren’t missed.
“If there’s something in the wicket, Vern is as good as you get around the world,” said du Plessis after the game. “What impressed me most today was he wanted to bowl overs. He didn’t say after three or four overs: ‘That’s enough’. He wanted the ball and he wanted to make a plan, that’s all you ask for from a senior player.”
“We feel for them because they bowled their hearts out,” said Kohli of his bowlers. “At the same time, they know that can repeat that performance. If we get a lively wicket again, we can exploit those conditions also but we need to be better with the bat.
“We wanted one big partnership to get the job done which we failed to do, and again we lost four wickets in four overs. If you do that, it is very tough for you to come back and win Test matches.”
Kohli called it an ‘outstanding’ pitch, and the game itself a great advertisement for Test cricket. Du Plessis wasn’t about to disagree. “There was this flow the whole time,” he said. “India’s on top, then South Africa’s on top, then they are taking the game to us and we are taking it back to them. That’s as good as it gets. It was exciting and the fans had full value for money because it was entertainment right through. That’s why we absolutely loved this Test match.”
Main category: SportsTags: CricketIndiaTest cricketSouth Africarelated_nodes: Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers IPL pay ‘on par with Ronaldo’South Africa collapse to 130 all outFaf du Plessis: South Africa out for revenge against India

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