Relentless India close in on big victory as woeful Proteas collapse twice in one day
India refused to concede an inch while South Africa hoped for their misery to end as the third Test in Ranchi went along unfortunate yet expected lines.
In their worst batting performance of the tour, South Africa were staring down the barrel at 132-8 in the second innings after added time yesterday. This after they were shot out for just 162 earlier in the day in reply to India’s 497-9 declared.
If Faf du Plessis was hoping for a consolation at the end of a harrowing Test series, he was in for a shock as India were powered by another superb effort by their fast bowlers.
Umesh Yadav picked up 3-40 in the first innings and snared 2-35 in the second. Fellow quick Mohammed Shami was equally incisive while picking up 2-22 earlier in the day and 3-10 in the afternoon.
Not only did Shami and Yadav rattle South African batsmen with pace and late movement on a pitch that was up and down, they caused physical damage as well.
Opener Dean Elgar was hit on the helmet by a Yadav bouncer on the second outing and was forced off the field.
India’s bowling was so good they could afford for off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to have one of his quieter days.
South Africa were hoping for a much better performance, especially after Zubayr Hamza hit a sparking 62 off 79 balls in the first innings. But around him, it at was another tale of despair with the bulk of the top order failing twice in one day.
Hamza later put the poor display to the fact that his teammates concentrated too much on India’s spinners. “Based on the general thought of playing in India, you’d assume that it would be tougher to play against the spinners,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say we under-prepared against the seamers. I will just say that maybe we should have prepared more mentally in terms of playing them in whatever conditions that we were faced.”
Only three batsmen in the first innings managed to reach double figures as Virat Kohli enforced the follow on for a second match in a row.
Shami and Yadav continued from where they left off in the morning session, uprooting the stumps of Hamza and Quinton de Kock respectively.
There were five successive single-digit scores in the top order. George Linde and Dane Piedt scored modest 20s but it is now just a matter of time. Concussion substitute Theunis de Bruyn (30 not out) will carry their slender hopes when play resumes today.
India’s Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of South Africa captain Faf du Plessis on Day 3 of the third Test in Ranchi