Clinical India Dismantle South Africa By An Innings In Pune Test, Take Unassailable Lead In Series

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 13 October 2019, 04:10 PM

When India asked South Africa to follow on heading into day 4, the intent was clear from Virat Kohli. His bowlers, in the words of Ravichandran Ashwin, were happy to toil again as India were armed with a massive 326-run lead. Backed by some magnificent fielding, led by Wriddhiman Saha and a clinical performance from Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav helped India bowl South Africa out for 189 in the second innings to win by an innings and 137 runs on day 4 of the Pune Test at the MCA stadium to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series.

The day began terribly for the Proteas with Aiden Markram getting trapped LBW for a two-ball duck for the second time in the match. In Pune, South Africa were outclassed in all departments, even the DRS review. Replays suggested that the ball was going over the stumps and had Markram reviewed, he could have potentially avoided a pair. Such was South Africa's luck that even poor balls fetched a wicket. Theunis de Bruyn was undone by a full ball down the leg side from Umesh Yadav but Wriddhiman Saha took a stunning one-handed catch to send him back for 8.

Dean Elgar struck boundaries while Faf du Plessis looked to channel his inner Adelaide of 2012 and focus on stone-walling one end. However, on 5, he edged Ashwin and it took a superb juggling catch from Saha again to end his vigil. With Ashwin having taken du Plessis' wicket for the third time in the series, the offspinner got the key wicket of Elgar just before the lunch break when he holed out to long off with Umesh taking a juggling catch. 

Things did not improve even after the lunch break. Quinton de Kock tried to slog sweep Ravindra Jadeja but dragged the ball back onto the stumps. Senuran Muthusamy and Temba Bavuma frustrated India but India struck back brilliantly. Muthusamy was unable to fend a Mohammed Shami bouncer while Bavuma, who escaped an LBW appeal despite a review, edged Jadeja to slip where Ajinkya Rahane took a brilliant one-handed catch.

However, just like in the first innings, Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj once again took a liking to the Indian bowling. Philander launched Jadeja for two sixes while Maharaj was once again solid in application. India tried short, spin but both batsmen once again applied themselves. The partnership crossed fifty and South Africa had stretched the Test beyond the tea break. But, luck would once again desert them.

Also Read | Wriddhiman Saha's Catching Leaves Pune Fans In Awe During IND Vs SA Test

Umesh bowled one more leg side delivery, Philander made the mistake of trying to glance it and Saha took the catch. For the second time in the match, a poor ball gave India a wicket. It was only a matter of time as Kagiso Rabada fell to Umesh in the same over and Jadeja trapped Maharaj to give India a massive win and Kohli's 13th win as Test skipper. For India, their dominance continues in the ICC World Test Championships but for South Africa, a repeat of the 2015 nightmare now seems inevitable. 

First Published: Sunday, October 13, 2019 03:28 PM
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