SA bowlers play their part, wrapping up the series 1-0

2013-12-31 00:00

SOUTH Africa needed just 58 runs to wrap up the second Test by 10 wickets and win the two-Test series one-nil against India at Kingsmead yesterday after bowling the visitors out for 223 in their second innings.

Enjoying a first inning lead of 166 after making 500 in reply to India’s 334, the day started with the Proteas needing eight wickets and the Indian batsmen needing to survive. There was no sign of foul weather as the best was saved for last and for Jacques Kallis, with even Mother Nature paying her respects with a cloudless sky, a perfect day to end a perfect cricketer’s Test career.

Starting the day at 68-2, India’s Virat Kohli (11*) and Cheteshwar Pujara (32*) were key in warding off a hungry Proteas attack keen for victory and keen to wrap up the match for their team-mate Kallis.

Dale Steyn set the tone with the first ball of the day though, having Kohli taken behind by AB de Villiers. To the naked eye and umpire Rod Tucker, it looked a clear edge, and with no review system, the batsman had to go. Closer inspection saw the ball had come off Kohli’s shoulder as it passed the bat but the decision made up for the inside-edge LBW Kallis received in his second innings at the Wanderers.

In his second over, Steyn produced a beauty to bowl Pujara without adding to his overnight score and at 71-4 and India still 95 runs in arrears, predictions that the match might finish before lunch were not far-fetched.

It was left to the tail-enders and a brave Ajinkya Rahane to attempt to stay at the wicket or at least ensure the Proteas batted again. Rahane, in only his third Test, put up brave resistance, falling four short of a maiden Test century as he was last man out, bowled by Philander as he took on the bowlers with last-man Mohammed Shami at the other end.

In between, he lost partners regularly, but credit must go to the Indian bowlers who occupied the crease without scoring runs, frustrating the Protea attack. Spinner Robin Peterson accounted for MS Dhoni (15), Ravindra Jadeja (8) and Zaheer Khan (3) to add to his overnight scalp of Shikhar Dharwan (19) to finish with 4-74 from 24 overs.

However, Steyn stole the show when he bagged his third wicket of the innings, his ninth in the match, when he had Ishant Sharma caught by De Villiers to finish with 3-47 in 21 overs. This was Steyn’s 350th Test wicket in his 69th Test, the second quickest bowler to the milestone with New Zealand’s Richard Hadlee and only bettered by Sri Lankan spinning maestro Muttiah Muralitharan who took 66 Tests.

Vernon Philander claimed 3-43 in 16 overs, while Morné Morkel, JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis were wicketless but miserly in giving away runs.

Going to lunch on 173-7 after a session of 32 overs and five wickets for 105 runs, it was a matter of time when India would be all out. They passed the deficit in the 67th over and etched a slender lead of 58, which was never going to be enough.

India were all out in 86 overs and just after 2 pm, Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen arrived at the crease to chase the 58 needed to win.

At tea, SA were 19-0 and before 3.30 pm, the match was wrapped up as Smith smashed Rohit Sharma for six and four to reach 59-0 from 21 balls for the series win. Smith finished on 27* and Petersen 31* and one asks why the Test series was shortened as the Proteas have more than a month to wait for their next taste of Test cricket against Australia in February here in SA and India have three weeks before heading to New Zealand.

Graeme Smith said, “India were a big challenge for us and it was important to play well. This was a big game and an incredible win considering the weather and light issues which lost us time. We did the hard work in the middle of the match and Jacques’s hundred set us up, allowing contribution from the lower order.”

MS Dhoni said, “The first session on the final day was crucial. We played bad shots and some decisions went against us but it’s been a fantastic series and good experience for our top order batsmen who had not played much out the sub-continent. I was happy with the bowling and it’s been a big learning curve for most of the players as we move forward.”


India first innings 334

Second innings

S. Dhawan c du Plessis b Peterson19

M. Vijay c Smith b Philander6

C. Pujara b Steyn32

V. Kohli c de Villiers b Steyn11

R. Sharma lbw b Philander25

A. Rahane b Philander96

MS Dhoni c Petersen b Peterson15

R. Jadeja c Morkel b Peterson8

Z. Khan lbw Peterson3

I. Sharma c de Villiers b Steyn1

M. Shami not out1

Extras: (b-4, w-1)6

TOTAL: (for all out, 86 overs)223

Fall of wickets: 1-8 2-53 3-68 4-71 5-104 6-146 7-154 8-189 9-206. Bowling: Steyn 21-8-47-3, Philander 16-4-43-3, Morkel 16-6-34-0, Peterson 24-3-74-4, Duminy 8-2-20-0, Du Plessis 1-0-1-0.

South Africa first innings 500

Second innings

A. Petersen not out31

G. Smith not out27

Extras: (w-1)1

TOTAL: (for no wickets; 11.4 overs)59

Bowling: Shami 2-1-4-0, I Sharma 5-1-29-0 (1w), Jadeja 4-0-16-0, R Sharma 0.4-0-10-0

Man of the match: Dale Steyn.

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