The 1st test between India and South Africa ended with a memorable win of 108 runs for India. It was a crackerjack of a game with the game turning on its head continuously.
At one point it seemed that Kohli and Pujara might take the game away from the visitors but then Harmer and Tahir spun the game around in their favour spoiling all Indian plans. Then the Indian spinners showed the visitors who’s the boss in the subcontinent taking up 9 wickets between them. It was a bowlers match where one bowler tried to outplay the other. So here we have the top 5 turning points of the match:
1.The wickets of Kohli and Pujara
At the end of the day’s play on the 2nd day, India stood on formidable ground with two star batsmen out on the front with Pujara standing on 63 and Kohli on 11, but the 3rd day saw both of them falling down after a stand of 66 runs and from there India’s fortunes took a downward turn. After the 3rd wicket of Kohli, Tahir bowled over Pujara and then like a house of cards from 160-2 India was eventually stumped for a mere 200 runs giving the visitors a target of 218 to chase.
2.The Double attack of Tahir and Harmer
If the spinners plagued the South Africans in the 1st innings, the story was the same for India as Tahir and Harmer wiped off the Indian batting order with both of them picking up 4 wickets each. Striking at regular intervals they propelled South Africa in the driver’s seat.
3.The Spinning trio
The Mohali pitch turned out to be a spinner’s paradise and after South Africa bowled India out for 200, India needed a significant performance from its spinners and they sure did step up to the occasion claiming 3 wickets in the 1st three overs of the innings itself. And then the innings belonged to Jadeja who stunned one and all by picking up 5 wickets and a total of 7 South African scalps in this match. While on one hand Ashwin took 4 wickets, on the other hand Mishra cancelled out the danger man AB de Villiers yet again. Thanks to an exceptional show of spin bowling India recorded memorable victory over the Proteas.
4.The wicket of AB de Villiers
Though two batsmen were sent back to the pavilion, all was under control for the South Africans as long as their ODI captain was out in the middle. But Amit Mishra changed that to when he came out to bowl yet again adding the wicket of AB de Villiers to his name. Dismissed in a similar fashion as in the 1st innings, Villers’s wicket in away sealed the deal for India.
5.The last straw- Elgar’s wicket
With half the team back in the dressing room Elgar was trying to steer a sinking ship and he seemed to be stabilizing the innings a bit but then he fell for a short ball from Varun Aaron. The ball hit the edge of the bat and ballooned up to be caught by the Indian captain. With Elgar’s wicket batting became a lost cause and eventually the bottom order was cleared by the comeback king and Ashwin.
India now leads the 4 match series and with the next match in Bengaluru where AB plays his 100, it will be a test for this young team as to how they keep the momentum with them and don’t let this win get into their heads.