Tea report: Wickets tumbling at Newlands

2018-01-05 15:11
AB de Villiers (Gallo)

Cape Town – The first Test between the Proteas and India at Newlands is moving along at a rapid rate, and at tea the hosts were 230/7 on day one.

LIVE: Proteas v India - First Test, Day 1

South Africa would have felt a lot better about life at lunch following an early wobble that had seen them reduced to 12/3 after winning the toss, with AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis having stabilised things.

But four more wickets in the middle session has given India the edge so far, despite Du Plessis having won the toss at the start of the day.

As the second session got underway, South Africa had recovered to 107/3 and it initially looked like it would be a long afternoon for the visitors with both batsmen settled.

Debutant Jasprit Bumrah, though, brought the Proteas crashing back down to earth and his first Test wicket will be one that he remembers for a long time.

The delivery was full, and De Villiers went on the drive, but this wicket will always have something in it for the quicks and the ball nipped back to castle South Africa’s trump card for 65.

Du Plessis (62) didn’t last much longer.

Having survived an LBW review that looked dead to the naked eye, the skipper was out just two balls later when he played a loose shot to a Hardik Pandya delivery as Wriddhiman Saha took a neat catch behind the stumps.

The celebration from Virat Kohli that followed was animated to say the least, and it resulted in umpire Richard Kettleborough having a word with the Indian captain.

South Africa had needed one of De Villiers or Du Plessis – or both, preferably – to go big, but at 142/5 it was advantage India once more.

Quinton de Kock and Vernon Philander then set about putting this right, and the one positive from a South African perspective was that the scoring rate remained impressive.

De Kock raced to 25 off just 19 as India’s bowlers continued to go full in the hope of finding the edge, while Philander also drove fearlessly in his endeavour to put his hand up at No 7.

The pair reached a much-needed 50 partnership in just 39 balls – De Kock contributing 31 and Philander 19.

The fact that spin in the form of Ravichandran Ashwin was only introduced in the 42nd over says a lot about how much the wicket was offering the pace bowlers.

South Africa brought up their 200 in the 45th over, but just as it looked like they had wrestled back the momentum, De Kock was on his way.

The Proteas ‘keeper became Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fourth victim of the day when he tickled a delivery through to Saha behind the stumps.

De Kock was out for 43 off 40 and the Proteas had lost all of their top six.

Philander followed for 23 when he was bowled by Mohammed Shami, meaning that all four Indian seamers had struck.

At tea, Keshav Maharaj (23*) was still hanging around despite being dropped by Shikhar Dhawan at third slip while Kagiso Rabada (1*) was at the other end.

The morning session had seen a superb spell of fast bowling from Kumar leave South Africa struggling.

Kumar took three wickets in as many overs to leave the Proteas on 12/3 before De Villiers and Du Plessis led the fightback. 


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