Jadeja spells doom for SA

Jadeja spells doom for SA

Cricket First Test : Left-arm spinner claims five wickets as India power to 108-run victory

Jadeja spells doom for SA
 The first hint of South Africa’s defeatist attitude surfaced when they sent Vernon Philander to do some pinch-hitting at the top of the order and unsettle the Indian spinners -- a move that clearly reflected a lack of confidence among the visiting batting unit to chase a 218-run target on a wicket where the hosts had lost eight of their batsmen in less than one and half hours.

As it were, the strategy to promote Philander, who ironically got out defending a ball, came unstuck and led to a spectacular collapse which was as much a result of batsmen’s imagined dangers as it was of the real perils the playing surface concealed within itself.

While someone like Hashim Amla offered no shot to a straight ball from Ravindra Jadeja to see his woodwork rearranged, Faf du Plessis had few answers to the guile of R Ashwin whose beautifully tossed-up drifter ended his brief stay.

This was pretty much the template for the whole of afternoon as India emerged 108-run victors to go 1-0 up in the four-Test series after dismissing South Africa for a paltry 109 in just 39.5 overs with plenty to spare on the third day of the opening Test here at the IS Bindra Stadium on Saturday.

The sudden Indian collapse in the latter half of the opening session — limiting their second innings to 200 — had provided a window of opportunity for South Africa to make a fist of the tricky target. For that to happen, they needed to bat with a positive frame of mind against perhaps the best off-spinner in the world today in Ashwin and an excellent support cast in Jadeja and Amit Mishra.

While there was turn whenever the ball was pitched in the right areas, bizarrely though, most of the South African batsmen got out to those that didn’t turn. Rather than facing the ball on its merit, they appeared to be playing the bowlers.

Jadeja led the mayhem with a third five-wicket haul of his career to add to the three wickets in the first innings. His 38 runs in the first innings lent his performance more weight as he pipped another strong contender Ashwin, who too had an eight-wicket haul for the match, to win man of the match award on return to Test cricket after a gap of 15 months. The left-arm spinner also reached 50 Test wickets in his 13th match.

Ashwin (3/39) was brilliant as usual in the second innings, applying the squeeze at regular intervals while Mishra cleaned up the dangerous AB de Villiers for the second time in the match.

India owed their victory as much to the guile of their spinners as to the grit of a few of their batsmen, especially M Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara, who accounted for 57 percent of India’s total runs (230 out of 401) in the match.

 Earlier in the day, the Indian batting left a lot to be desired. Having sailed along rather smoothly in the first hour after resuming at their bedtime score of 125/2, India imploded in remarkable fashion in the second half of the first session. Overnight batsmen Pujara (77) and Virat Kohli had added 36 runs till the first drinks break in the morning and appeared all set to pile on more misery on the visitors.

Against the run of play, however, Kohli fell to a harmless part-time slow medium pace off Stiaan van Zyl and the skipper’s departure led to blood bath.

Off-spinner Simon Harper (4/61) and leggie Imran Tahir (4/48) then ran rings around the Indian batsmen to grab five wickets between them during a period when the home team lost six wickets while adding just 24 runs. In fact, India lost eight wickets for just 38 runs on either side of lunch. In the din of victory, however, it shouldn’t be lost on anyone that the Indian batsmen didn’t cover themselves in glory. The inadequacies of this Indian batting group against the turning ball were all too apparent as they lost 15 wickets to spinners.

score board

INDIA (I Innings): 201
SOUTH AFRICA (I Innings): 184
INDIA (II Innings; O/n: 125/2):
Vijay c (sub) b Tahir    47
(133m, 105b, 6x4)
Dhawan c de Villiers b Philander    0
(11m, 8b)
Pujara c Amla b Tahir    77
(221m, 153b, 6x4, 1x6)
Kohli c Vilas b van Zyl    29
(91m, 71b, 4x4)
Rahane c sub b Harmer    2
(11m, 9b)
Saha c Vilas b Tahir    20
(68m, 58b, 3x4)
Jadeja lbw Harmer    8
(24m, 24b, 1x4)
Mishra c du Plessis b Harmer    2
(6m, 5b)
Ashwin c Amla b Tahir    3
(8m, 9b)
Yadav b Harmer    1
(5m, 4b)
Aaron (not out)    1
(18m, 7b)
Extras (B-9, LB-1)    10
Total (all out, 75.3 overs)    200
Fall of wickets: 1-9 (Dhawan), 2-95 (Vijay), 3-161 (Kohli), 4-164 (Pujara), 5-164 (Rahane), 6-178 (Jadeja), 7-182 (Ashwin), 8-185 (Ashwin), 9-188 (Yadav).
Bowling: Philander 12-3-23-1, Harmer 24-5-61-4, Elgar 7-1-34-0, Tahir 16.3-1-48-4, Rabada 12-7-19-0, van Zyl 4-1-5-1.
Elgar c Kohli b Aaron    16
(64m, 47b, 1x4)
Philander lbw Jadeja    1
(4m, 2b)
du Plessis c Rahane b Ashwin    1
(4m, 6b)
Amla b Jadeja    0
(6m, 6b)
de Villiers b Mishra    16
(20m, 18b, 2x4)
van Zyl c Rahane b Ashwin    36
(106m, 82b, 6x4)
Vilas b Jadeja    7
(40m, 22b)
Harmer c Rahane b Jadeja    11
(42m, 30b, 1x4)
Steyn c Vijay b Ashwin    2
(8m, 9b)
Rabada (not out)    1
(13m, 12b)
Tahir lbw Jadeja    4
(6m, 5b)
Extras (B-8, LB-5, W-1)    14
Total (all out, 39.5 overs)    109
Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Philander), 2-9 (du Plessis), 3-10 (Amla), 4-32 (de Villiers), 5-45 (Elgar), 6-60 (Vilas), 7-102 (Harmer), 8-102 (van Zyl), 9-105 (Steyn). Bowling: Ashwin 14-5-39-3, Jadeja 11.5-4-21-5, Mishra 8-0-26-1, Aaron 3-0-3-1 (w-1), Yadav 3-0-7-0.

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