India stunned: Philander rips the visitors apart.
Indian pacers on a roll: Bumrah, Shami, Bhuvi bundle out SA for 130.
All rain, no play: Day three was washed out without a ball being bowled.
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Wrap-up: OK, folks. It’s time to wrap this up. What a mad Test match this was. The newsroom is having a few heated discussions right now, still coming to terms with what went down. We are sure we’ll talk a lot more about this match in the coming days. For now, it’s good-bye from Vinayakk and the rest of us here at The Field.
Data-check: India’s wretched away record continues
Post-match: Vernon Philander, no surprises, in the man of the match. Faf du Plessis is delighted about the character his team showed. ‘It’s really important to go 1-0 up in a 3-match series,’ finishes Faf.
Post-match: Mini collapses in batting cost us, says Virat Kohli. Adds that the team is happy about how they competed and kept coming back into the match, credits South Africa for their bowling in the second innings despite being a bowler short. Laments the lack of one big score in the second innings, says the team conceded 70-odd runs extra in the first innings. The focus will be on rectifying mistakes ahead of the second Test, he adds.
Data-check (updated): A reminder of just how bloody good South African bowlers are at home.
Reactions: Two days, two sessions and a little more is all it took for South Africa to win this one. India’s second innings was just a mess, but don’t let that take anything away from local lad Vernon Philander. Michael Holding comes on air and reminds everyone about Pujara saying 350 was chaseable.
But Vernon Philander had other ideas.
It’s all over - Vernon Philander, take a bow! Bumrah is gone off the first ball, another edge to the slips. Six wickets for Philander and South Africa have won by 72 runs. What a collapse, what a day, what a Test!
Double-strike by Philander, the end is near: First Ashwin and next Shami, and its that man Philander again! Ashwin’s dismissal was a beauty of execution. First time in the match QdK comes up to the stumps and Ashwin cuts it into the gloves. Shami then hits a four and edges the next ball to second slip – what a bowler! What a comeback!
After 42 overs, India 131/7: The partnership moves to 49 and some nervous moments for South Africa this. But, still, one wicket is all that would take here. Ashwin looks nervy in Maharaj’s over – edging, playing and missing after coming down the track.
After 40 overs, India 123/7: Well, whisper it, but these two have quietly built a nice partnership. It stands at 41 runs. Bhuvi plays a classy cut shot of Maharaj and Ashwin gets a streaky boundary to third man off Philander. Ashwin also survives an ambitious DRS call from Faf off Maharaj’s bowling. It was pitched outside leg.
Data check by Anand Katakam: The current South African pace attack is exceptionally good at taking wickets without conceding runs in home conditions. Barring Morne Morkel, all average less than 21 at home.
After 37 overs, India 112/7: Philander comes back into the attack and this could hasten the inevitable. Not yet though as he concedes 5 in the over, thanks to a fine flick to midwicket for four. And for what it’s worth, the require number of runs is less than 100 now.
After 36 overs, India 103/7: Lo and behold, India reach the three-figure mark. At least it’s not as bad as Bridgetown, 1997 eh? Small wins. Ashwin gets India past 100 with a stylish straight drive off Rabada. Mr. Maharaj is coming on from the other end and has a loud appeal for LBW against Bhuvi turned down. South Africa don’t review.
After 34 overs, India 97/7: Morkel briefly tries the round-the-wicket-target-the-ribs strategy but Bhuvi negotiates it well. Rabada and Morkel continue to keep it tight, with Bhuvi playing and missing quite often. But the runs are coming steadily though, in ones and twos. Ashwin looking fairly solid.
After 30 overs, India 84/7: We are back underway for the final session (of the day and most likely, of the match). Morkel is back in to the attack after looking tired in the previous session. 2 runs from the over.
At tea, India lurching to a defeat at Newlands: What a day this has been so far! Join us shortly.
After 29 overs, India 82/7 - Saha gone at the stroke of tea: Oh dear, a sorry session for India comes to an end. South Africa pacers show they have enough in their armoury even in the absence of Steyn. Philander, Rabada have wrecked this Indian batting lineup with extraordinary swing bowling. This is regulation from Rabada and Saha fails to read the indipper and gets trapped at the crease. Review says umpire’s call.
1st session: 65 runs for 8 wickets.
2nd session: 82 runs for 7 wickets.
Batting against good swing bowling is at an all-time low.
Here’s our reader Clive, with his take on what affected India the most. Agree?
For all we talk about how India’s bowling today, it was our bowling on the 1st day which let the South African lower order double their score at 5 wickets down which has hurt us massively. Letting the lower order double the score was just poor bowling and showed a lack of ruthlessness. India’s inability to wipe out the tail quickly hurting them again later in the test.— @vanillawallah
After 27 overs, India 82/6: Ashwin, Saha steady the ship a tad bit but the storm hasn’t passed and the ship is pretty wrecked. Philander and Rabada continue to keep it tight. One lofted boundary from Saha the definite highlight of the last 30 minutes for India.
After 24.1 overs, India 77/6 - Pandya gone: And this time it’s Rabada, with some help from ABD. Once again, an Indian batsman playing away from the body, and the edge is taken sharply by ABD at third slip. Looks like this is going to be over soon.
Here’s Ashish Magotra on the Philander magic.
Virat Kohli was trapped lbw by Vernon Philander but the manner in which the Indian skipper was set up would have done the greats proud.
Philander had been bowling a lot of outswingers to Kohli. He had been bowling a lot of out swingers all through the innings to all batsmen. Everyone knows Kohli is weak outside the off-stump to the ball that moves away. All batsmen are.
But Philander used the fact that Kohli is weak to the delivery in the smartest way – he kept up with the outswingers and then quickly slipped in an inswinger. Kohli overcompensates for the outswinger and plays it with a fair degree of caution but this just took him by surprise. This was mind games of the highest order. What will Kohli have to watch out for in the next game?
In Philander’s next over, Rohit Sharma gave him a helping hand by playing at a delivery that was well outside the off-stump. He got the inside edge back on to the stumps. In the first innings, he had shown he didn’t know where his off-stump is. The problem still persists. To be fair, Rohit was probably still reeling from that short ball that Rabada bowled to him the over before.
And now Pandya is gone as well. Looks like the match has slipped out of India’s grasp.
After 24 overs, India 76/5 - Rohit gone! He cannot make anything out of his reprieve. Philander has turned this match around for South Africa in the space of two overs. Boy, does he love bowling at Newlands. This is a great ball, yes but again a poor shot by Rohit. Outside off stump, moving away - and he chops it on to the stumps.
After 23 overs, India 76/4 - ROHIT SHARMA DROPPED!: And just when South Africa were right on top, Maharaj drops a sitter and a chance to put this game to bed. (Close to at least) Rohit Sharma is no position to play the pull shot of Rabada, he’s rushed into an awkward position, the top edge goes to Maharaj at deep square leg - who sets himself underneath the ball and it falls half a foot away from his hands! Completely lost it in the air. Saha plays a lovely cover drive to ease some pressure.
After 21.4 overs, India 71/4 - KOHLI IS GONE: Is this the match-turning moment? Virat Kohli is gone! He was looking in chase-mode, working the ball in the gaps but this another beaut from Vernon Philander - WHAT A BOWLER! It lands slightly fuller than a good length on the middle stump, moves in ever so slightly. It looked so plump and it is plumb, three reds on DRS.
After 20 overs, India 66/3 - Kohli 23, Rohit 9: India have managed to find a little partnership going here. Morkel, meanwhile, looks a little uncomfortable. May be out of breath from the long spell. Are South Africa feeling the absence of the fourth pacer? Sure seems so. Philander continues at the other end and there are some balls outside off stump that are keeping low.
And sure enough, Rabada replaces Morkel.
After 17 overs, India 60/3: As much as the broadcaster is letting us watching this match, this is a steady phase for India. Kohli has looked good so far and proves that with a delightful cover drive off Morkel, walking into it and using the bottom hand to great effort. (Funny how his best shot and his weakness happen to be from the same length)
After 15 overs, India 52/3: A much-needed drinks break for all of us, honestly. (Seems like the broadcasters have gone out for a drink too, however, which is not cool.)
Here’s Kushal Phatarpekar on India’s openers.
Openers are key in conditions like the one in this Test at Newlands. Ahead of the series, the choice of openers was a much-debated topic. India went with the in-form Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay for the Newlands Test. Expectations were high, unfortunately, their performance in the first Test has shown how ill-prepared the two seem to be for these conditions.
After struggling in the first innings against Philander and Steyn, a better performance was expected considering the latter was unavailable through injury. However, the two looked a little out of their depth as this time, the pair of Philander and Morkel exposed their shortcomings.
Dhawan failed to find a suitable shot to fend off a short delivery from Morkel, Vijay edged one to the slips off Philander after previously surviving two appeals off the same bowler. In the first innings, Dhawan was dismissed after attempting a ill-advised pull shot, while Vijay showed poor technique as he played away from the body to give away his wicket. In the second essay, there wasn’t much of a change.
The management may be need to give Rahul a look in. A good start to an innings is imperative for success in Test cricket. Looking at how Dhawan and Vijay have fared, a change appears to be inevitable.
After 14 overs, India 49/3: A 10-run over seems so incongrous with what’s gone on this match. On second thoughts, no it fits well with the roller-coaster narrative. Kohli and Rohit play out a confident over - starts with a glance to fine leg for four by the skipper, followed by a lovely straight push by Rohit for 3. Two confident shots.
After 13 overs, India 39/3 - PUJARA GONE! Dear oh dear, this Test match is going to give us all a heart-attack isn’t it? WHAT AN ABSOLUTE PEACH BY MORKEL! It lands on good length, the length that you can play off the front foot for any other bowler, but Morkel forces you back - and ChePu hangs back, has to play at it and it takes the outside edge and QdK makes no mistake.
BIG, BIG WICKET!
After 12 overs, India 39/2: This is the partnership that will most likely determine the outcome of the match. An excellent over by Rabada to Kohli that ends with a peach that squared him up. Pujara eats up the over from Philander at the other end – something that Kohli wouldn’t mind, given how much he hates the Philander length. An interesting over from Rabada at the other end – Kohli gets off the mark with a controlled shot to third man off a short ball for four and then almost commits a blunder by calling Pujara for a quick single. ChePu puts in the dive but a direct hit would have caught him shot!
After 9 overs, India 30/2 - Vijay gone: Not third time lucky for the Monk. To be honest, this is nothing less than what Philander deserved. Has been immaculate with his line outside offstump and this time he gets Vijay to drive, gets the outside and ABD takes a low catch and celebrates with gusto.
Out walks Virat Kohli. This, right here, will decide which way this match is going to go.
After 8 overs, India 30/1 - Dhawan gone: This has not been a good Test for Dhawan at all. Dropped catch in the first innings followed by a terrible shot, missed run out in SA’s second innings followed by a low score again the run-chase. This is short and into the ribs by Morkel, he has no clue where the ball has gone – but it’s hit the glove and lobs up to gully.
Dhawan first innings: Out for 16.
Dhawan second innings: Out for 16.
After 7 overs, India 28/0: Which side of the bed did Vijay wake up on!? The Monk’s living a charmed life out in the middle at Newlands. Comes down the track to Philander, there is a noise as the ball goes past the bat, given OUT again – he reviews it immediately. And there’s daylight between bat and ball - it was bat hitting the pad. Vijay survives again! Philander is now hitting a great length. (And another odd shot by Vijay)
After 5 overs, India 16/0: Dhawan gets his first boundary, and it’s a streaky one – edge goes to third man. Philander then strays on the pads, Dhawan gets a couple. But the ball after that is an absolute peach. Misses the outside edge and offstump by a whisker.
After 4 overs, India 9/0: The first boundary of the India run-chase and boy, what an elegant cover drive by Vijay. This is a good length ball by Morkel and he caresses it through cover with all the care in the world. Should settles Vijay’s nerves after some strange shots in Philander’s over.
After 3 overs, India 4/0: Vernon Philander has an appeal for LBW against Vijay, Vernon Philander doesn’t even look back at the umpire, Vernon Philander is celebrating South Africa’s first wicket. But hang on, Vijay reviews and hawkeye says it going over the stumps! WOW. We did not see that coming. Kohli rejoices. Philander then beats Vijay’s outside edge a couple of times – what an eventful over.
(How thankful must India be for DRS now, eh?)
After 2 overs, India 2/0: Philander and Morkel to start proceedings for South Africa against Vijay and Dhawan. One appeal in the first over for LBW against Vijay by Philander, but it’s a hopeful one at best. Morkel tests Dhawan with the round the wicket line – a good-looking straight drive to end the over, but Morkel dives down and stops well.
India’s chase begins: Alright, folks. We are back.
DATA CHECK by Anand Katakam: India has scored 200 runs or more only thrice in successful run chases outside the subcontinent. None of them has been against South Africa.
If they do manage to reach their target of 208, it’ll be their third highest successful run-chase outside the subcontinent.
Here’s Ashish Magotra, looking ahead to what promises to be a cracking fourth innings:
208 runs. The 4th innings. Philander, Morkel, Rabada and Maharaj. A wicket with bounce, pace and seam. It isn’t easy but India will know this is their best chance to go one up in the series. Hardik Pandya showed them the way in the first innings but the team need to be careful as well – the rain seems to have spiced up the track.
But this Indian team feeds on confidence. Virat Kohli was clearly feeling it. He will want his team to go for the win – still they have to do this by sticking to their guns. Vijay must block and leave, Dhawan must attack, Pujara must play his natural game and so on. 208 runs on this kind of wicket is not a walk in the park. India are lucky that Steyn isn’t around anymore but this SA team still have enough firepower in the bowling department.
The match isn’t won yet. It can be won. And that is the difference that India must hammer into their heads.
Lunch at Newlands: What a breathtaking first session we have had!
DATA CHECK: The Indian pacers were phenomenal but the unsung hero of that innings was Wriddhiman Saha! 10 catches in the match, a new Indian record (home and away)
South Africa all out for 130: From 65 for 2, South Africa lost 8 wickets for 65 runs. Boy, who saw that coming. This has been a Test match for the ages already! ABD expectedly goes for a big shot but can’t clear Bhuvi at midwicket, Bumrah gets his 3rd wicket.
After 41 overs, South Africa 130/9: And that proves costly! ABD couldn’t keep the strike and first ball, Bhuvi bounces out Morkel. Saha takes his 10th catch of the match – an all-time record.
And out walks (limps) Dale Steyn and plays out four dot balls. WHAT A HERO!
After 39 overs, India 124/8: ABD has decided to up the ante. Farms the strike and smacks a straight six off Bumrah! But can’t retain strike. How crucial is that going to be? Morkel will face Bhuvi now.
After 39 overs, India 124/8: And Bhuvi’s first wicket of the innings comes at an opportune time for India. It was odd to see Bhuvi bowling bouncers to Maharaj – two of them in his comeback over and one of them so high that it was called a wide. But the next ball is typical Bhuvi – good length, upright seam and it takes the outside edge and Saha completes his 9th catch of the match! A record for India.
The lead now crosses 200. Meanwhile, Steyn - who was on crutches earlier – is now padding up! Boy, what a legend.
After 38 overs, India 114/7: The runs beginning to flow (well, compared to what came before) ABD plays a cover drive that should be made mandatory viewing for any upcoming cricketer – there are two fielders in the deep for Bumrah and he splits them with surgical precision. Maharaj is also swinging his bat, gets a boundary off Pandya before getting hit on the helmet. All happening!
The lead now is 186 runs – already looks quite handy, if you are in the South African camp.
After 35 overs, South Africa 99/7: Maharaj and ABD are looking to rotate strike now and this is a smart strategy. Every run will be crucial and this is the period where Pandya took the game away (from 92/7).
And by the way, India lost a review in the over Shami got Vernon’s wicket - an LBW review gone awry.
Here’s Kushal Phatarpekar on how India’s bowlers stepped up collectively:
India’s bowlers have put in an impressive effort on day four. Bhuvneshwar had put his hand up on day one, but received little support from his teammates as AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis staged a fightback.
The visitors seem to have learned their lesson from the first innings.
After Pandya’s late two strikes on day two, Shami and Bumrah have done well to pick up the baton in the morning session on day four. India needed a couple of wickets in the morning session to stretch South Africa. Unlike on day one, the duo bowled a disciplined line today. Just outside the off-stump, tempting the batsmen to play at the ball. Both bowlers also used the short delivery to their advantage and made most of the bounce on offer.
The collective-effort coupled with smart field placement by Kohli has helped stifle South Africa’s offensive moves.
Considering the situation they were in, India needed all their bowlers to be firing. Props to Shami and Bumrah (and Pandya as well) for stepping up and delivering in the second innings.
After 34 overs, South Africa 95/7: Philander gone! Shami gets the third of the morning, with another peach. The length has been fantastic all morning by India. This delivery is angled in, nips from good length and misses Philander’s bat – thuds into the front pad. Given out, and DRS can’t save Philander. THREE REDS. Boy, this has been a magical morning for India.
After 33 overs, South Africa 94/6: This is all down to ABD now. Remember, South Africa are still 171 runs ahead. Shami and Bumrah – the bowlers who have struck all the blows this morning – continue after drinks. ABD not shying away from playing the shots, but he is finding fielders.
Drinks, South Africa 92/6 after 30.4 overs: WOW. Just wow. Quinton de Kock is gone! And this is another beauty from Bumrah. From around the wicket, he gets one to angle back into QdK and it goes through his defence – the slip fielders and keeper go up in unison but the umpire is unmoved. Kohli reviews and it’s a thick inside edge! South Africa are in deep trouble.
After 30 overs, South Africa are 87-5: Pandya into the attack now. Oh dear, things should have gone from bad to worse for South Africa. Dhawan has not had a Test to remember. ABD calls for a suicidal single after tapping it to cover, QdK has no chance but to respond – and he had given up trying to reach the crease. Dhawan had considerable time to get a direct hit, but he misses by a distance.
Here’s Ashish Magotra on the first 10 overs of the day:
It’s been a good start to the day for India. South Africa started the day on 65-2 after 20 overs but this morning, India have given away little by way of loose balls and also claimed the wickets of Hashim Amla, Kagiso Rabada and Faf Du Plessis – all amazingly (*grin*) caught in the slips. In 10 overs, India have claimed 3-22 to reduce the hosts to 87-5. Bhuvneshwar and Shami started off the proceedings, kept a good line and got the batsmen to play false shots. Jasprit Bumrah replaced Bhuvi in the attack and kept up the good work - that was a ripper to Faf.
But with AB de Villiers in the middle, the challenge changes. He has already shown some aggressive intent and Kohli and Co will need to decide how they will counter this charge. Will they tempt him to continue playing aggressively and hope that leads to a bad shot or will they go on the defensive? Either which way, we are in for a fascinating session of Test cricket. Don’t look away for a moment – you can’t afford to.
After 29 overs, South Africa 82/5 - FAF GONE! Did we say dream start for India earlier? It’s only getting better. What a snorter from Bumrah! It pitches just short of good length, rears up like a kid on a jumping jack and takes Faf du Plessis’ gloves – unplayable! (Almost like Sreesanth against Kallis?) Brilliant bowling.
After 28 overs, South Africa 81/4: Meanwhile, the hosts’ lead has crossed 150. ABD plays the shot of the morning (quite possibly one of the shots of the match) by upper-cutting Shami over third man for a six. Pressure? What pressure? Incredible batting.
After 27 overs, South Africa 74/4: Surprisingly, Bhuvi has been taken off the attack and Bumrah is on from the other end. Good first over though, almost gets ABD – a good length ball rises up sharply, takes the glove but hits the forearm and lobs just short of Saha. ABD responds with a powerful cut short but, as we have seen this morning, Kohli has set a field to stop boundaries – finds deep point.
This is the partnership that could make or break India’s chances - Faf and ABD together again.
After 26 overs, South Africa 73/4: This is a great start for India. Just as we thought, Shami was setting up Rabada. After repeatedly beating his outside edge, he now gets one to angle in further and forces Rabada to edge it – it almost loops up to Kohli at second slip. INDIA ARE TAKING CATCHES IN THE SLIP REGION, FOLKS!
After 25 overs, South Africa 73/3: Shami bowls an entire over at Rabada where he is beaten outside off stump, repeatedly. This was like an over that was on loop. One senses that’s the startegy to Rabada – keep it outside off and then bring one on stumps that he’ll edge. Off the next over, there is almost a run-out chance as Rabada and ABD are caught guessing but Vijay’s throw doesn’t trouble ABD, who finishes the over with a four that is all CLASS – whacked through midwicket.
After 23 overs, South Africa 67/3: Another steady over from Bhuvi, a maiden to ABD. Again, Kohli opting for a ODI field, with 2 slips and a gully and three on the ring. The thinking must be to avoid conceding boundaries early on with the lead already sizeable for South Africa. Agree?
WICKET! WHAT A START FOR INDIA: Hashim Amla, ladies and gentlemen. Mohammed Shmai strikes and gets the big fish. Another strange shot by Amla in this match, it was short and wide and he tries to punch it through the covers off the back foot - a shot he is usually good at, but has failed him twice in two innings now. The edge goes low to Rohit at gully and he immediately claims the catch. Soft signal is out and after numerous replays, third umpire agrees.
After 21 overs, South Africa 65/2: Interesting field by Kohli to start things off. Just two slips and a gully, with a packed offside field – point, short cover, and mid-off. Bhuvi gets some good shape, both in and out.
Here’s a poll for you:
We are all set, folks!
02:00 pm: Play! Bhuvneshwar starts off proceedings. Hashim Amla on strike, Rabada at the other end.
01:55 pm: Can India take the chances that come their way? Their catching in the slips has left a lot to be desired of late.
Data check: India’s catching in Tests is abysmal. It has been for a while.
No Steyn, but Rabada will breathe fire
01:45 pm: When South Africa do bowl in the second innings, they will not have the services of Dale Steyn, who has been ruled for the Test and perhaps, for the series. But they have Kagiso Rabada.
Here’s Nick Said on the importance of Rabada.
Unlike Ntini, who was plucked from the rural Eastern Cape and given a scholarship to the prestigious Dale College, Rabada was born and raised in the country’s urban hub, Johannesburg, and into a family of professionals.
His father is a doctor and his mother a lawyer, and he was sent to St Stithians College, an exclusive private school in the city’s northern suburbs.
Although his family claim that his first love was soccer, Rabada offered a different view when quizzed.
“Ever since I was young I wanted to play for the Proteas, and it’s amazing to be playing with the guys who were my heroes as a kid. It’s so cool to be with them. I’m just being myself. I don’t want to be like anybody else.”
Bowlers need to step up
01:35 pm: If India are to get anything out of this Test match, the bowlers have to step up collectively today. As great as the second day was for India, with Hardik Pandya shining with the bat and ball, the fact of the matter is that South Africa is still ahead by 142 runs and 8 wickets in hand. In the brief period on Saturday evening, before Pandya took those two wickets, the Indian bowling looked toothless. They can’t afford that today if they want the South African lead to be in check.
All set for day four
01:30 pm: Hello all and welcome to the live blog of the fourth day between India and South Africa. First things first, the forecast today at Newlands is great for cricket. No rain expected, mostly cloudy, with a good breeze blowing – bring it on!