South Africa beat India by 72 runs in first Test

09 January, 2018, 00:59 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • Cheteshwar Pujara prepares to play a shot during the second day of the first Test cricket match

Hardik Pandya's counter-punching 93 from 95 balls and two late wickets kept India alive on day two of the first Test in Cape Town after South Africa's pace attack had swept through the tourists' top and middle order.

The first test provided plenty of entertainment right from day one, as neither side was willing to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

India removed eight South African batsmen for just 65 runs in the first session, with South Africa's own collapse in the morning forcing injured fast bowler Steyn to come out to bat to try to prolong the innings. India has never won a series in South Africa, losing five of the six it has played.

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Ravichandran Ashwin top scored with 37 but Philander took the final three wickets in four balls to complete the victory.

Apart from AB de Villiers (35) and Keshav Maharaj (15) no other player was able to cross 10 runs on fourth day.

He recently made a comeback in competitive cricket and Cricket South Africa (CSA) did not play during the four-day Test against Zimbabwe to preserve him for the India series.

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South Africa opener Elgar then nearly collected a pair when the hosts began their second innings, the left-hander pulling his first ball just out of reach of Mohammad Shami at mid-on having nicked off third delivery in his first knock at Newlands.

Heading into the Cape Town Test, South Africa's head coach Ottis Gibson had expressed reluctance to slot him back in the squad against India as he was out for close to a year.

Rabada trapped Wriddhiman Saha leg before with the last ball before tea to leave India in a desperate situation in a match hastening towards a conclusion despite the loss of the third day because of rain. Significantly, Steyn's career has been greatly affected due to injuries.

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Both teams now head to SuperSport Park in Centurion for the second test, which starts on 13 January.

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