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Cape Town Test: India slightly ahead of South Africa at stumps after 23-wkt extravaganza on day 1
2nd Test
Photo courtesy: X/@ICC

Cape Town Test: India slightly ahead of South Africa at stumps after 23-wkt extravaganza on day 1

| @indiablooms | 04 Jan 2024, 10:51 am

Cape Town/UNI: India were slightly ahead of South Africa after 23 wickets fell till Stumps on Day 1 of the second Test of a two-match series at Newlands here on Wednesday.

South Africa were 62/3 at close of play, still needing 36 runs to avoid an innings defeat. Aiden Markram and David Bedingham were at the crease on 36 and 7, respectively.

After South Africa elected to bat first, Mohammed Siraj blew away the hosts for their lowest total since readmission.

In his 9-over spell, the star India pacer ended up with his career-best Test figures of 6/15 as South Africa were skittled out for 55 in 23.2 overs.

In reply, India lost their last six wickets without scoring a run in 11 balls, in a staggering collapse. India were reduced to 153 all out from 153/4.

In the second innings, South Africa have already lost three wickets and are yet to take a lead over India.

The visitors have their nose in front in the game as they have a very good opportunity to square the series as Mahendra Singh Dhoni had done before in the Rainbow Nation.

South Africa have a herculean task at hand as they have to bat out-of-the-box tomorrow to extend the play to Day 3.

However, it looks like an uphill task on a pitch where the ball is consistently rearing up off a good length, especially from the Wynberg end. Not just that, the oddball is also shooting low.

Earlier, Siraj hauled up his career-best figures of 6/15 as South Africa were bowled out for 55 in the morning session. This was the lowest total in the last 96 years as Siraj scalped his third five-fer in Test cricket.

The Indian pacer ran through the South Africa innings, except David Bedingham and Kyle Verrenynne managed double-digit scores amid the cataclysm.

Jasprit Bumrah and debutant Mukesh Kumar proved to be the perfect foil for Siraj and plucked two wickets each as the Proteas folded their innings in 23.2 overs.

Siraj leaked just 15 runs in nine overs with three maidens as he spurred wretched submission by South African batsmen on a pacy and bouncing wicket.

Captain Dean Elgar's decision to ask India to bowl first after winning the toss in his farewell Test turned out to be quite a terrifying ordeal.

Verreynne scored 15 and Bedingham 12 as all the other remaining South African batsmen were dismissed for single-digit scores.

Bumrah (2/25) and Mukesh (2/0) took the other South African wickets.

Siraj started with a few deliveries pitched on good length but soon realised the bounce in the pitch.

He hurled one slightly fuller and Aiden Markram (2), wary of bounce did not get to the pitch of the ball and pushed with hard hands. The ball caught the outside edge for Yashasvi Jaiswal to complete the catch at second slip diving to his left.

After some time, Siraj knocked off Elgar (4) off an inside edge onto his stumps.

Debutant Tristan Stubbs succumbed to pressure as he pushed at one that got an inside edge before scooting to Rohit Sharma at short leg giving Jasprit Bumrah his first wicket of the match.

In the next over, Siraj had his third wicket of Tony de Zorzi who fell to the legside trap, leaving South Africa at 15/4. He nearly had his fourth wicket when Kyle Verryenne survived an LBW decision on DRS.

In his 8th over though, Siraj forced Bedingham to glove one to the slip cordon. South Africa lost half of their side for 34. He also had Marco Jansen nick one to wicketkeeper KL Rahul, getting to his third five-wicket haul in Test cricket. In the next over, Siraj struck by sending back Verreynne.

After skittling out South Africa for 55, India were 111/4 at Tea with KL Rahul and Virat Kohli batting on duck and 27, respectively.

Nandre Berger took 3 wickets for South Africa, sending back Captain Rohit Sharma (39), Shubman Gill (36) and Shreyas Iyer for zero, while Kagiso Rabada grabbed one.

Yashasvi Jaiswal was out without opening the account after Rabada cleaned him up by fending short-pitched stuff on the first ball of the third over. After his departure, Rohit started the second Test with a lot of confidence and stitched a 55-run partnership with Gill for the second wicket.

Soon after, Rohit was dismissed after scoring 39 runs, caught by Marco Jansen off Berger. Shubman continued the innings with Virat, but Berger's excellent out-swinger took an outside edge of his bat and was caught in the slip by Jansen after scoring 36 off 55 balls.

But not before, Shubman completed 1,000 runs in Test cricket, becoming the 69th Indian batsman to achieve the milestone by taking 2 runs off Berger in the 8th over. He achieved the feat in his 36th Test innings of the 20th match.

Iyer came to bat at No.5 and was out on the very second ball, caught behind by Kyle Verreynne off Berger.

In the third session, Lungi Ngidi set in motion India's collapse in the 34th over by bagging three wickets of KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah in a maiden over after India were comfortably placed at 153/4.

In the next over, Kagiso Rabada compelled Virat Kohli to nick one Aiden Markram in the slips to break India's hopes of springing back into the innings. Two balls later, Mohammed Siraj was found short of the crease after a mixup with Prasidh Krishna.

Krishna's dismissal ended India's innings at 153, with a lead of 98 runs over South Africa.

Brief Scores

South Africa: 55 all out in 23.2 overs (Kyle Verreynne 15; Mohammed Siraj 6/15) and 62 for 3 in 17 overs (Aiden Markram 36 batting; Mukesh Kumar 2/25).

India: 153 all out in 34.5 overs (Virat Kohli 46, Rohit Sharma 39, Shubman Gill 36; Lungi Ngidi 3/30, Kagiso Rabada 3/38, Nandre Burger 3/42).

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