After high-intense contest between bat and ball throughout four days, albeit only three days play happened as the third day was washed out; Vernon Philander-inspired South Africa emerged victorious over India by 72 runs at Cape Town. With this win, South Africa now lead the series by 1-0.
India were asked to chase only 208 to win this Test but they failed as Virat Kohli-led side could not handle some brilliant swing and pace bowling from South Africa. Despite having lost Dale Steyn after his injury in the first innings, pacer Philander routed India with his sharp swing bowling by scalping 6-42.
Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada too did not find it difficult to take wickets as the trio managed to tame Indian batsmen with their fiery bowling. The first breakthrough was provided by tall and lanky Morne, who dismissed Shikhar Dhawan for 16 and soon Murali Vijay too walked back as Philander too joined the action. Further, Morkel and Philander continued to dominate as India kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Skipper Kohli, who was looking good but could not held his feet for long at the crease as he was out plumb leg before off Philander for 28.
The duo of Morkel and Philander shared 5 wickets before Rabada joined them and added inflicted more pain by removing in the form of Hardik Pandya and Wriddhiman Saha at the end of second session of the day. Both teams went for break with India’s score at 82-7 insides 29 overs and Ravichandran Ashwin was to continue batting along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar after the tea interval.
Coming to the final session of the day, Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar disturbed the South African with their partnership of 49 runs. However, once the stand for broken, South Africa in no time claimed the victory by bowling out India for mere 135.
Earlier, South Africa were dismissed for mere 130 by Indian bowlers in the first session of day four, courtesy all-round bowling performance by India’s pace attack. Bhuvneshwar, Pandya scalped two, while Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami picked three each and Ashwin remained wicketless.
Prior to that, South Africa gained a healthy lead of 77 runs by bowling out India for 209 after they had posted 286 on board in the first innings. It seemed like Faf du Plessis made good choice of batting first after winning the toss.
South Africa 286 & 130 all-out (Aiden Markram 34, Dean Elgar 25, AB de Villiers 35; Mohammed Shami 3 for 28, Jasprit Bumrah 3 for 39) beat India 209 & 131 all-out (Shikhar Dhawan 16, Virat Kohli 28, Ravichandran Ashwin 37; Vernon Philander 6 for 42, Kagiso Rabada 2 for 41) by 72 runs.
Man of the Match: Vernon Philander