Re­lent­less In­dia close in on big vic­tory as woe­ful Proteas col­lapse twice in one day

The National - News - - SPORT - AJIT VIJAYKUMAR

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.

AFP

In­dia’s Mo­hammed Shami cel­e­brates the wicket of South Africa cap­tain Faf du Plessis on Day 3 of the third Test in Ranchi

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