South Africa have secured the Freedom series with a match to spare after their 135-run victory in the second Test at Supersport Park in Centurion. Lungi Ngidi (6/39) was the man of the moment for the hosts as he picked up wickets of Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, and M Shami on the final day of the match.
Brief Scores : South Africa 335 (Aiden Markram 94, Hashim Amla 82; R Ashwin 4/113, Ishant Sharma 3/46) & 258 (AB de Villiers 80, Dean Elgar 61, Mohammed Shami 4/49, Jasprit Bumrah 3/70) beat India 307 (Virat Kohli 153, Morne Morkel 4-60) & 151 (Rohit Sharma 47, Mohammed Shami 28; Lungi Ngidi 6/39, Kagiso Rabada 3/9) by 135 runs.
India revive fortunes with late wickets on opening day
After winning the toss, Faf du Plessis chose to bat first and the openers responded to the call by valiantly putting up an 85-run partnership before Ravichandran Ashwin removed Dean Elgar to give India the first strike of the match. But Aiden Markram was steady at one end and partnered Hashim Amla went on to forge a 63-run partnership before becoming the
Kohli halts South Africa's surge
Starting the innings from 269/6, Indian bowlers, especially Ashwin, bowled with a lot of panache but saw catches being dropped. No less than three catches were put down in less than two hours and taking a benefit of that, the South African skipper punished India for the mistakes, farming the strike and shepherding the tail well past 300 until Ishant castled him when the score was 333/9. India’s innings started in typical fashion as KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara got out in back-to-back balls that reduced India to a paltry 28/2. But with Kohli being on the crease, Indians hopes were pinned on him and he didn’t disappoint. But after a nice 79-run partnership, Vijay’s unwanted bit of adventurousness against Keshav Maharaj cost him his wicket. While the skipper was no less than a picture of composure at one end, a familiar collapse ensued in the middle order that left India with 164/5. However, Pandya came out with a calm head on his shoulders and ensured that not only did he support
Bumrah’s double strike gives India hope on Day 3
With Kohli on the crease, India
Lungi Ngidi pins India on the mat
Starting the day at 90/2, de Villiers and Elgar got off to a slow start so as to maintain control on proceedings and to counter any movement that the ball could offer due to a few showers a day earlier. The duo played out more than 10 overs to add 54 runs to the tally before Shami ran riot getting rid of both the set batsmen along with de Kock in a matter of four overs. With South Africa struggling at 165/5, India looked on the ascendency, but du Plessis came up with
South Africa exact revenge of 2015 series loss
With Kohli already enjoying the comforts of the dressing room, India needed Parthiv and Pujara to stand up to the occasion, but the latter’s lack of athleticism made sure that he became the first player since Stephen Fleming in 2000 to be run-out in both the innings of a Test match. For South Africa, the series was all but sealed by then and Parthiv decided to open the floodgates a little more by trying to pull a Rabada short ball to backward square leg and Morkel, running in from fine-leg, took a screamer that was pretty much reminiscent of Glenn McGrath’s catch to send Michael Vaughan packing in the 2000 Ashes. Even though Pandya didn’t last long, Shami and Rohit gave the Indian fans some hope with a 54-run partnership. However, once Rohit was dismissed by a brilliant catch by de Villiers in the deep, the match result was not in question anymore. There was still time to put some icing on the cake though as Ngidi completed a
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