Vice-captain KL Rahul gets player of the match for his 123 & 23, Shami gets 8-wicket haul
Brief Scores: India 327 (KL Rahul 123, M Agarwal 60, L Ngidi 6-71) & 174 (R Pant 34, K Rabada 4-42, M Jansen 4-55) beat South Africa 197 (T Bavuma 52, Q de Kock 34, M Shami 5-44) & 191 (D Elgar 77, J Bumrah 3-50, M Shami 3-63) by 113 runs
Player of the Match: KL Rahul for 123 and 23
A simple equation stood in front of India for creating history: India needed 6-wickets for a famous win in Centurion to become the first Asian side to win at the given venue. On the other hand, South Africa eyed for an unlikely 211 runs to keep their fortress intact. The weather on the final day had improved quite nicely with bright sunshine over the head but still certain sources suggested that the thunderstorms could occur in the middle of the second session.
The Pitch at SuperSports Park on Day 5
The 22-yard as expected on the fifth day looked likely to show its own character. With three days of scorching heat, the track had begun to open up. So, the batters had to be very careful about the uneven bounce. The seven-meter mark from the stump had opened up in the form of a wide crack and that could have proven to be really dangerous for the batters.
History in the making
Asian teams have lost each of their 11 previous Tests they have played in Centurion. India could change the table. There are only two instances of a team scoring 200+ on the fifth day to win a Test in South Africa - England scored 214 to win against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1909-10 and Australia scored 203 runs against South Africa in Cape Town in 2001-02.
Bumrah clips out Elgar to give upperhand to India
South Africa began the day with the right mindset scoring at almost 4 runs per over with boundaries coming at regular intervals; the Indian pacers were trying hard but luck wasn’t favouring them. At last, Jasprit Bumrah provided them the first smile in the morning dismissing opposition captain Dean Elgar. In this way, Bumrah became the fastest Indian bowler to take 100 Test wickets overseas in just 23 games.
New batter Quinton de Kock did play some gorgeous on drives but eventually burned his hand playing with fire; he dragged the ball onto his stumps to get out in out in the same fashion as in the first innings. Mohammed Shami then sent back Wiaan Mulder to take India near a certain victory.
Only Temba Bavuma stood between India and a victory with few tail-enders to support him. South Africa would look for 123 runs; India eyeing three more wickets.
India took 12 balls to wrap up rest of South Africa in second session
It seemed to be taking a bit of time but it ended in a blink of an eye. Marco Jansen did play a couple of eye-pleasing cover drives to kick off the session but Mohammed Shami showed his class again. He drew the batter forward bowling in the 4th stump line and Jansen paid the price.
Ravichandran Ashwin picked up his first wicket of the Test as Kagiso Rabada fell into his trap. Lungi Ngidi didn’t waste a single second to spoil India’s party as his thick inside edge popped up straight to the backward short-leg fielder to provide India a historic win by 113 runs.
The most frustrating part of the whole story was to see Temba Bavuma standing on the other end with a fighting 35*; perhaps, he made the mistake in taking a single on the second ball of the Ashwin over.
India touch new records
Virat Kohli becomes the first Indian captain to win two Tests in South Africa. He also becomes the first Indian leader to achieve victories in two Boxing Day Tests.
India have become the first Asian side to win a Test in Centurion.
2021 is the second time India have won four Test matches outside Asia in a calendar year (Brisbane, Lord’s, Oval, Centurion). The previous instance was 2018 when they won in Johannesburg, Nottingham, Adelaide and Melbourne.
This is the second time India have bundled out South Africa under 200 runs in both innings at home since the latter’s re-admission to Test cricket.
What to Look Forward to in the 2nd Test at Johannesburg
The second Test is going to be the New Year’s Test starting on January 3, 2022 at Wanderers in Johannesburg, where during the 2018 series, India won their only Test. The pacers will love to take a break after running in hard for several overs in the first Test.
South Africa will miss wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock due to paternity leave. Virat Kohli and his side will aim to win the series in the second match whereas the Proteas will love to make a return. All in all, an action-packed new year awaits the followers of the game.
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