Shami claims fifer as India beat South Africa by 203 runs

By ScoreLine Desk - October 7, 2019

Visakhapatnam: Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja ran through South Africa’s batting on the fifth day as India won the first Test by a convincing 203-run margin.

Shami picked up 5 for 35 and Jadeja 4 for 87 as South Africa were bowled out for 191 chasing an improbable 395.

South Africa’s main batsmen failed, but Dane Piedt (56) and Senuran Muthusamy (49*) showed character and fought with a 91-run stand for the sixth wicket, although in vain.

South Africa started the day with a mountain to climb on 11 for 1 and slipped immediately. R Ashwin struck in the second over to dismiss Theunis de Bruyn, opening the floodgates for

Mohammed Shami to run through. It was a poor shot from de Bruyn, cutting against the turn to be bowled to give Ashwin his 350th Test wicket.

Shami took over with a simple and effective strategy – keep targeting the stumps and let the pitch do the rest. The ball was keeping low and he was bound to hit the stumps, which he did in the very next over with the wicket of Temba Bavuma.

Faf du Plessis and Aiden Markram resisted for a while, with Shami being rotated out. But Shami returned to dismiss the South African captain with a ripper that nipped in a long way from outside off.

Du Plessis left the ball on line, but was shocked to see it deviate in to hit the stumps. In his very next over, Shami got Quinton de Kock, the centurion from the first innings, for a two-ball duck. De Kock looked to defend but the ball skid through the gate.

From 60 for 5, it was only a matter of time. Jadeja ensured it wouldn’t take too long, getting three wickets in an over.

Markram was fighting a lone battle and it ended with a sharp catch from Ravindra Jadeja off his own bowling; Markram had driven down the ground powerfully but Jadeja stuck his left hand over his head to take it. He got Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj off successive balls in identical styles, trapping them leg before the wicket.

The game was heading for a finish within the first session, but an attacking Dane Piedt and a stubborn Senuran Muthusamy delayed the inevitable. Muthusamy defended and defended and defended, looking as sturdy as a top-order batsman would. Piedt was more adventurous, playing his shots against spinners and taking South Africa beyond 100 and more.

India took the extra 15 minutes on offer to prolong the first session but the two batted it out. They carried on after lunch, extending India’s frustration with every passing ball.

Piedt went past his half-century while Muthusamy remained steady; the way they batted showed the pitch wasn’t menacing, and some help from the top order could have made things much better for South Africa.

The partnership threatened to touch 100 when India turned to Shami once again. He struck the first ball of a new spell, ending the 91-run stand in typical style, disturbing Piedt’s stumps.

Muthusamy was left stranded on 49 when Shami had Kagiso Rabada caught behind to complete his five-fer and the game.

By ScoreLine Desk

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