Philander six-for sinks India
South Africa have won a low-scoring encounter against India in the first Freedom Test at PPC Newlands, Cape Town. The Proteas are leading 1-0 in the three-match series.
After a washout on day three, South Africa started the day at 65/2. Overnight batsmen Kagiso Rabada and Hashim Amla were dismissed very early by Mohammad Shami in the day.
Skipper Faf du Plessis departed for a duck too. With wickets kept falling at the other end, AB de Villiers was looking to extend his team’s lead. Even injured Dale Steyn batted with heel injury.
However, the hosts were bowled out for 130 runs in 41.2 overs. de Villiers made 35 off 50 with 2 fours and 2 sixes. Shami and Jasprit Bumrah took three wickets each. Bhuvneshwar Kumar got two. All eight wickets fell in the first session.
India were set a target of 208 runs to win. Openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan made a solid start. Vijay luckily survived twice on DRS. But as soon he got out, Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara also departed which put the pressure back on India.
Skipper Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma batted to keep India’s hopes alive but Kohli’s dismissal brought collapse to the Indian batting line-up. The tourists lost seven wickets in the second session.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar settled down and put on 49-run partnership for the eighth wicket. Vernon Philander came in to bowl the 43rd over, which decided the match.
He got Ashwin for 37 on the first ball with keeper Quinton de Kock coming up the stumps to take the catch. Shami hit a four on the next ball and fell on the third ball which gave Philander his 8th five-wicket haul. Bumrah also nicked to slips on his first delivery that ended India’s innings for 135 in 42.4 overs.
It took only four balls to end the game. Philander scalped career-best 6/42. Rabada and Morne Morkel took two wickets each. South Africa handed a 72-run defeat to India. It’s the fourth-lowest total defended by South Africa since 1993.
South Africa 286 and 130 (de Villiers 35; Shami 3/28, Bumrah 3/39, Pandya 2/27)
India 209 and 135 (Ashwin 37; Philander 6/42, Morkel 2/39, Rabada 2/41)
South Africa won by 72 runs
Man of the Match: Vernon Philander (3/33 & 6/42)
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com