An edge off Kagiso Rabada’s bat ended India’s frustration as the home side went 1-0 up in the three-match series, defeating South Africa by 203 runs in Vizag. Needing nine wickets to win on the final day, Ravindra Jadeja did the things quickly as India scalped seven wickets in the first session.
Senuran Muthuswamy and Dane Piedt then frustrated Indian bowlers for 32.2 overs for their 91 runs for the ninth wicket.
Mohammed Shami ended team India’s wait with a wicket after lunch and followed up with the wicket of Rabada four overs later. Debutant Muthuswamy was left stranded on 49 as he saw Rabada edge the ball to Wriddhiman Saha.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli heaped praises on openers Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal, whose efforts in the first innings saw India cross the 500-run mark.
“The wicket played really good for the first three days. We lost a session. When you put 500 on the board, you’re always ahead. Even with the fight they showed, we still had a lead. Rohit was outstanding. Mayank brilliant,” he said in the presentation ceremony.
Kohli also praised Shami, whose fifer in the second innings saw India win comfortably.
“Pitch was flat, they got a few boundaries away. Always knew it was going to be a second innings pitch. Shami has been a strike bowler in the second innings. All the guys lived up to their strengths. Batting heroes were obvious. But bowlers had it tougher in this game,” he added.
Batting first, India had a brilliant start as Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma put up 317 runs for the first wicket in 82 overs. Playing his first innings as opener, Rohit scored 176 while Mayank converted his maiden Test century into a double-century, thus becoming fourth Indian batsman to do so. Their partnership saw India score 502/7.
Riding on Dean Elgar’s gritty 160, South Africa did fight back and scored 431 in their first innings. Quinton de Kock also played a heroic knock as he scored 111 off 163. India gained a lead of 71 runs after two innings in the match.
In their second innings, India again rode on Rohit’s brilliance as he scored 127. Cheteshwar Pujara scored 81 as India registered 323 runs on the board, asking the visitors to chase huge target of 395 in the fourth innings.
At stumps on day 4, South Africa were 11/1 and in the end, they were dismissed for 191.
With this win, India registered their third consecutive win in ICC Test championship in as many matches. The hosts lead the three-match series 1-0.