In­dia spin S Africa to de­feat in first Test

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

In­dia’s spin­ners tied South Africa’s bats­men in knots to give the hosts a 108-run vic­tory in the bowler-dom­i­nated first Test in Mo­hali yes­ter­day. Left-arm spin­ner Ravin­dra Jadeja grabbed five wick­ets and off-spin­ner Ravichan­dran Ash­win took three as the Proteas, set a vic­tory tar­get of 218, were shot out for 109 af­ter tea on the third day.

Both bowlers fin­ished with eight wick­ets in the low-scor­ing match played on a dusty, dry pitch at the I.S. Bin­dra sta­dium, with the In­dian spin­ners claim­ing 19 of the 20 South African scalps.

The Proteas were re­duced to 60-6 be­fore Sti­aan van Zyl, who top-scored with 36, and Si­mon Harmer (11) got to­gether to put on 42 for the sev­enth wicket. Seven bats­men failed to reach dou­ble fig­ures, leav­ing the top-ranked South Africans a lot to pon­der ahead of the sec­ond Test in the four-match se­ries which starts in Ban­ga­lore on Novem­ber 14.

In­dian cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli said he was de­lighted to win his first Test on home soil as cap­tain. “This was a spe­cial oc­ca­sion for me,” said Kohli, who turned 27 on the first day of the match. “Ours is a young team and we are try­ing to build a strong team to­gether. A lot of credit to the boys for bounc­ing back af­ter the loss in the lim­ited-overs se­ries.”

‘No de­mons in pitch’

Kohli said it was wrong to crit­i­cise the pitch which pro­duced a three-day Test. “I don’t think there were any de­mons in the wicket,” he said. “The ball did not turn square at any stage. Bats­men had to ap­ply them­selves since it was a bowler’s game.”

South African skip­per Hashim Amla re­fused to blame the de­feat on the pitch, say­ing there were a few “soft dis­missals” by his bats­men. “200 was a chaseable to­tal, al­though prob­a­bly 150 would have been more re­al­is­tic and a chal­lenge on a de­te­ri­o­rat­ing wicket,” he said. “There were some soft dis­missals. We were in the game till we lost four or five wick­ets and put pres­sure on the lower or­der guys. Sti­aan showed you could get runs if you hung in there.

“To get In­dia out for 200 was an ex­cel­lent ef­fort from our bowlers and we kept our­selves in the game till the last ses­sion. But credit to In­dia for bowl­ing us out.”

Bats­men’s night­mare

Ear­lier, South African spin­ners Harmer and Im­ran Tahir claimed four wick­ets each to rip through In­dia’s bat­ting in the morn­ing ses­sion. In­dia, who started the third day at 125-2 in their sec­ond in­nings, moved to 161-2 be­fore a bat­ting melt­down saw them lose their last eight wick­ets for 39 runs.

South Africa fared worse when they bat­ted a sec­ond time on a wicket that proved to be a bats­man’s night­mare. The gam­ble to open the bat­ting with tailen­der Ver­non Phi­lan­der back­fired when the fast bowler was leg-be­fore to Jadeja for one in the sec­ond over. Ash­win, who had taken five wick­ets in the first in­nings, struck in the third over as Faf du Plessis edged an easy catch to Ajinkya Ra­hane in the slips. From 9-2, the Proteas be­came 32-4 as Jadeja bowled Amla for no score and star bats­man AB de Vil­liers (16) also found his stumps shat­tered by leg-spin­ner Amit Mishra.

The wick­ets con­tin­ued to tum­ble as opener Dean El­gar (16) top-edged an in­tended pull off seamer Varun Aaron and spooned an easy catch to In­dian cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli at mid-on.

In the morn­ing, the loss of three top-or­der bats­men in the space of three runs trig­gered In­dia’s col­lapse even though the Proteas fielded with­out their in­jured pace spear­head Dale Steyn.

The overnight pair of Chetesh­war Pu­jara and Kohli bat­ted through the first hour to take their third wicket stand to 66 runs. The tourists took the field with­out Steyn, who was side­lined for the en­tire in­nings due to a groin strain. —AFP

MO­HALI: In­dia’s Ravin­dra Jadeja (2R) cel­e­brates with team­mates the wicket of South Africa’s Dane Vi­las dur­ing the third day of the first Test match be­tween In­dia and South Africa at The Pun­jab Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion Sta­dium in Mo­hali yes­ter­day. — AFP

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