Superb Proteas bowling leads to India collapse on second day of test

2013-12-19 13:17

India: 280 all out (Virat Kohli 119, Rahane 47*, Philander 4/61, Morkel 3/34)

South Africa: 22/0 (Smith 11*, Petersen 11*)

South Africa trail by 258 runs

Alviro Petersen and Graeme Smith saw the Proteas safely to lunch on the second day of the first test while India collapsed, surrendering all their hard work on the first day.

With Zaheer Khan and Mohammad Shami getting lateral movement in the air and off the pitch, South Africa’s opening pair did well to survive the 45 minutes before lunch after India gave away their hard-earned advantage with a calamitous collapse.

There were close calls with a few Khan deliveries staying low but how the pair proceed will be critical for how the innings shapes up.

South Africa only needed 13 overs on the second morning to wrap up the Indian first innings with a superb exhibition of seam bowling on an overcast and cool morning at the Wanderers.

It all started with captain MS Dhoni feathering one to AB de Villiers as the bowlers kept a lid on India. The wicket precipitated a collapse that saw India lose five wickets for 16 runs in three overs. Bowling coach Allan Donald had implored his bowlers to make the best of the second new ball and they did not disappoint.

None of those wickets were down to batsmanship, but rather to some superb bowling by Vernon Philander and Morné Morkel. The former struggled to get his line and length on day one but was back to his nibbling best on day two with conditions favouring him.

Philander was on a hat trick in the 100th over when he dismissed the stubborn Ajinkya Rahane and Zaheer Khan in successive deliveries.

Rahane nicked a good ball that moved away from him while Khan was trapped in front by one that came back into him. The angle of his bat was for a delivery that was going to leave him. Instead, it came back sharply and wrapped him on his pads.

Ishant Sharma survived the hat-trick ball but he became Philander’s fourth victim, his off-stump knocked by a ball that pitched on off-stump and held its line.

It left Philander one short of 100 test wickets. If he achieves the feat in the second innings, he will be the fastest South African to get to the landmark, surpassing Dale Steyn, who got there in 20 tests.

Ravichandran Ashwin defiantly flayed one boundary with the authority of a batsman who has two test centuries but that was as good as it got as Shami was bowled by Morkel without troubling the scorers.

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