Spinners stifles South Africa; India takes 1-0 lead

RSTV Bureau
Mohali: Indian skipper Virat Kohli celebrates after winning the first Test match against South Africa in Mohali,  November 7, 2015. Photo - PTI

Mohali: Indian skipper Virat Kohli celebrates after winning the first Test match against South Africa in Mohali, November 7, 2015.
Photo – PTI

India scripted a dramatic victory in the first test match against South Africa at Mohali on Saturday. Chasing a difficult 218-run target on a turning track, the Proteas folded out for meagre 109 runs in 39.5 overs. The game ended in the final session of Day three. India has now taken 1-0 lead in four-match test series.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja made a memorable comeback to Test cricket with a five-wicket haul as India relied on the spinners to fashion a resounding 108-run victory. The test was marred with low scoring as India’s 201 in the first innings were followed by just 200 runs. In between, South Africa was bowled out for 184 in their first innings.

Jadeja, who bagged his third fifer in 13 Tests with figures of 5/21, trapped Imran Tahir in the front to pick the final South African wicket as the team celebrated the win against the No.1 Test side with congratulatory hugs amongst themselves.

It was a moment of joy and elation for skipper Virat Kohli, who won his first game at home as Test captain, especially after the hosts lost the ODI and the T20 series against the visitors.

Mohali: Indian captain Virat Kohli celebrates with team mates after beating South Africa in the first Test match in Mohali on Saturday.

Mohali: Indian captain Virat Kohli celebrates with team mates after beating South Africa in the first Test match in Mohali on Saturday.

The spin troika of Ashwin, Jadeja and Amit Mishra snapped 19 wickets in the game. Kohli wasted no time in getting down to business in the final innings by giving the new ball to spinners Ashwin (3-39) and Jadeja.

The visitors’ move of sending pinch-hitter Vernon Philander was neutralised when Jadeja trapped the batsman LBW for just one run in the very first delivery of the second over.

Ashwin, who had a special game after becoming the fastest Indian bowler to race to 150 wickets in his 29th Test, spun into action from the other end to send Faf du Plessis (1) caught at slip on a lovely tossed up delivery that the jittery-looking batsman failed to cope.

But it was the dismissal of South African Test captain Hashim Amla that set cat amongst the pigeons. Amla was cleaned up for nought by Jadeja after looking to leave a length ball that carried straight in and rattled the middle stump. The South African scorecard soon read 3 wickets down at 10 runs.

Right arm leg-spinner Amit Mishra too was introduced early on in the 10th over of the innings. That rewarded soon as he cleaning up first-innings top-scorer AB de Villiers for 16 runs.

The two teams will now travel to Bengaluru for the second Test, beginning November 14.

(With inputs from the PTI)