India move to top of WTC 2023-25 standings following epic win over South Africa

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CAPE TOWN : The two-match Test series between India and South Africa concluded with the teams sharing the spoils with a win each, but the former emerged as the biggest beneficiary as they moved to the top of the ICC World Test Championship standings.

India cruised to a seven-wicket victory against South Africa in Cape Town gaining 12 crucial points to make an upward movement on the table, as per ICC.

After the win in their opening match of the series, South Africa was positioned at the top of the WTC25 standings. The loss meant their win percentage fell to 50 per cent, the same as New Zealand, Australia, and Bangladesh.

India has won two Tests, lost and drawn one each, while SA has slipped down to second with a win and a loss.

Image: by ICC

Coming to the match, South Africa elected to bat first and was bundled out for just 55 in 23.2 overs, with Kyle Verreynne (15) and David Bedingham (12) being the sole players to touch double digits.

Mohammed Siraj’s fiery spell of 6/15 destroyed the Proteas’ top and middle order, while Jasprit Bumrah (2/25) and Mukesh Kumar (0/2) also took wickets.

In their first innings, India was 153/4 at one point, with solid scores coming from Virat Kohli (46 in 59 balls, with six fours and a six), Rohit Sharma (39 in 50 balls, with seven fours) and Shubman Gill (36 in 55 balls, with five fours), but a Lungi Ngidi three-wicket over sunk India to 153 all out in 34.5 overs.

Ngidi (3/30), Kagiso Rabada (3/38) and Nandre Burger (3/42) took three wickets each for SA.

Later in their second innings, SA ended day one at 62/3, with Aiden Markram (36*) doing the bulk of the scoring. Skipper Dean Elgar managed 12 runs in his final Test innings. Mukesh got two while Bumrah got one wicket. On the next day, though Markram scored a fighting century, a knock of 106 in 103 balls with 17 fours and two sixes, the six-wicket haul by Bumrah (6/61) bundled out SA for 176 in 36.5 overs, setting India just 79 runs to win.

Mukesh Kumar took two wickets while Prasidh Krishna and Siraj got one.

With the help of knocks from openers Yashasvi Jaiswal (28) and skipper Rohit Sharma (16*),

India chased down the total with seven wickets in hand in 12 overs.

Siraj won the ‘Player of the Match’ award and South Africa’s Dean Elgar and India’s Bumrah won the ‘Player of the Series’ award.

This was also the shortest completed Test in terms of number of balls bowled, breaking a longstanding 92-year-old record. It only took 642 balls for the Test to complete with a result, beating the 656-ball record in a Australia versus South Africa Test in 1932.

Still early days in the WTC25 cycle as India will look to grab more points in their upcoming home Test series against England where they will compete in five matches, starting January 25. (ANI)

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