Redemption in two days: India conquers spiteful Cape Town deck, level series with SA

Public TV English
7 Min Read

CAPE TOWN: In what would go down as one of the shortest Tests in the history of red ball cricket, India thumped hosts South Africa at Cape Town on Thursday in a low-scoring affair, drawing level in the 2-match series after losing the opener at Centurion.

On a spiteful surface surrounded by the idyllic Table mountains, where the ball did all kinds of tricks, India made short work of the hosts with the ball on the second day, despite a heroic ton by opener Aiden Markram, and chased down a paltry target under 11 overs.

The two-day affair brought the curtains down on the international career of Protea opener Dean Elgar. With regular skipper Temba Bavuma out injured, Elgar took over the reins in the second Test as stand-in skipper. However, the hosts ended up on the losing side after two days of intriguing and, to a large extent, bizarre cricket.

Yet, his knock of 185 in the opening Test, which fashioned a win for the hosts, will remain etched in public memory for a long time.

However, India’s leading pace pair of Jasprit Bumrah (6-61) and Mohammed Siraj (6-15) were the architects of India’s redeeming, series-levelling win. Their significant contributions resulted in India needing to score a paltry 79 runs to level the series at 1-1.

Yashasvi Jaiswal, trusting his natural attacking game, came out all guns blazing from the very first ball in the chase of 79, which could have been a tricky total on the Newlands surface.

On the very first ball of the innings he sent the short ball straight to the fence to make his intentions clear. He followed it up by opening the phase of his bat and finding the gap between the third slip and gully.

The flurry of boundaries continued to come out from the southpaw’s bat as he quickly raced to 28 in 22 deliveries. Nandre Burger’s shot inward angling delivery caught Jaiswal off his balance and sent him back for 28.

The flow of runs dropped drastically following Jasiwal’s departure with skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill taking their time on the field and approaching the target cautiously.

Gill displayed his tremendous timing as he punched down the ball for a four. But Kagiso Rabada’s short ball which laid low did the trick and sent Gill back for 10.

India went on to see off the game with a seven-wicket victory with Shreyas Iyer scoring the winning runs with Rohit Sharma unbeaten at the other end on a score of 17(22).

Earlier in the day, South Africa’s 176 meant India needed to chase down 79 runs to level the series within two days. The hosts resumed the innings on Day 2 with a score of 62/3 trailing by 36 runs.

The first session once again saw wickets falling at a brisk pace but this time Aiden Markram stood up for his team and scored a quick-fire knock of 106 off 103 deliveries to give South Africa a total to defend.

Markram stepped up on a surface that assisted the pacers offering them inconsistent bounce which kept the batters on their toes. While Bumrah cleaned up the other end, Markram produced some beautiful shots to find the fence.

His game-changing knock included 17 boundaries and two maximums which kept some pressure on the Indian pacers. Markram completed his ton with a beautifully struck boundary in his 99th delivery of his innings. The entire South African team stood up and applauded the batter for producing a knock which comes once in a blue moon.

Elgar was pumped as he clapped with joy as Markarm looked up to heaven before removing his helmet raising his hands and celebrating arguably the knock of his lifetime.

Bumrah on the other hand took the onus from the Siraj and took the advantage of uneven bounce on offer. He cleared up the middle order as well as the tail end to put India in complete control.

On the first day, a spell of 6/15 from Siraj in 9 overs destroyed the hosts as they were bundled out for 55. It was his first five-wicket haul in South Africa and third overall. Pacer bagged the crucial wickets of Markram, Dean Elgar, Tony de Zorzi, David Bedingham, the dangerous Marco Jansen and Kyle Verreynne.

South Africa lost wickets at frequent intervals after opting to bat first. In addition to Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah and Mukesh Kumar each grabbed two wickets. For South Africa, Kyle Verreynne scored 15 while David Bedingham scored 12.

In reply, India saw a dramatic collapse from 153/4 to 153/10 within six balls during their first inning on day one of the Test match. The visitors took a lead of 98 runs. Their lead was 56 with six wickets in hand at Tea.

Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, and Nandre Burger used their pace at Newlands to dominate the Indian batting lineup during the final session of day one. Apart from Marco Jansen, all the other three pacers picked up a three-wicket haul to bundle out India at 153.

Brief scores: South Africa: 55 and176 (Aiden Markram 106; Jasprit Bumrah 6-61) vs India 153 & 80/3 (Yashasvi Jaiswal 28, Rohit Sharma 17*, Marco Jansenr 1-15). (ANI)

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