India move closer to first Test win after capturing three key Proteas wickets before lunch | Sport


Jasprit Bumrah of India celebrates a wicket. (Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

India’s regular breakthroughs saw them inch ever closer to a first Test win at SuperSport Park in Centurion on the fifth morning on Thursday.

South Africa closed the fifth morning on 182/7, 123 away from their 305-run dreamland. More realistically, India needs three more wickets to take a priceless 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.

Jasprit Bumrah (3/50), who dismissed Rassie van der Dussen and Keshav Maharaj with in-swinging rockets on the fourth evening, snared the crucial wicket of Dean Elgar (77) 43 minutes into the session to leave South Africa at 130/5

LIVE SCORECARD | South Africa v India, First Test, Day Five

Mohammed Siraj (2/47) then coaxed a false shot from Quinton de Kock (21) as South Africa lurched to 161/6 and when Wiaan Mulder became Mohammed Shami’s (2/55) second victim of the second innings, the spectre of SA being bowled out before lunch loomed large.

Temba Bavuma (34*), SA’s underrated batting rock who top-scored in the first innings with 52, held the fort as best as he could.

However, him having to shepherd the tail again raised the question of whether he is batting too low in the team.

That said, India again bowled with their trademark disciplined hostility, with Bumrah’s pace being matched by intelligence.

In pinning Elgar leg-before, he dragged him ever so wide outside off-stump with a series of wide balls before straightening him out with one that hit a crack.

It was excellent bowling and Bumrah’s morning spell of 1/28 in 8.1 overs well and truly kicked the door open for the visitors.

De Kock and Bavuma batted unfussed in their 31-run alliance, but De Kock’s unexplained dalliances with balls outside off stump saw him chop one onto his stumps.

It was the second time he committed the sin in the game and the Mohammeds, Siraj and Shami, have been the benefactors.

While Mulder’s bowling on the first morning helped stabilise the Proteas, his batting his coming under scrutiny, lasting only three balls when he feathered Shami to Pant for the second time in the game.

Bavuma and Marco Jansen saw the hosts to lunch and while the sun was out, thunderous cumulonimbus clouds gathered on the horizon.

Whether they’ll arrive quick enough to save them remains to be seen.

Scores in brief:

India: 327 and 174 (Rishabh Pant 34, Ajinkya Rahane 20, Virat Kohli 18, Kagiso Rabada 4/42, Marco Jansen 4/51, Lungi Ngidi 2/31)

South Africa: 197 and 182/7 (Dean Elgar 77, Temba Bavuma 34*, Quinton de Kock 21, Jasprit Bumrah 3/50, Mohammed Siraj 2/47, Mohammed Shami 2/55)

South Africa need 123 runs to win

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