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South Africa vs India, 1st Test: Day 5 Talking Points 

The fifth day of the first Test between South Africa and India was poised well at the Centurion, with both the teams having a shot at victory but not without the weather looming over. 

Having been set a target of 305, the hosts resumed the day on 94/4 with 211 more runs to win. India needed to strike six times as early as they could before the rain plays a spoilsport. As it happened, the weather stayed clear and India pulled off another historic overseas victory. Dean Elgar fought, Temba Bavuma fought but it wasn’t enough in the end as India bundled the hosts out for 191 in 68 overs. 

Here we take a look at how things panned out and some major talking points from the fifth day’s play in the Centurion Test: 

Jasprit Bumrah excellence ends Dean Elgar’s resilience 

Resuming his innings on 52, Dean Elgar was threatening to be a thorn in India’s path. The left hander survived countless play and misses, and a dropped catch by Shami off his own bowling. Elgar along with Temba Bavuma scored a good rate on the first 40 minutes of the fifth day morning. The duo played out 10 overs and scored 36 runs. 

Elgar scored 77 runs in an gutsy effort against a high-class bowling unit. For India, It was once Jasprit Bumrah who produced a wicket out of nowhere. The right arm pacer went right the wicket, bowled a length ball outside off which nipped back in and trapped Elgar on his front pad. Elgar reviewed it with a little hope but three reds meant that he had to walk back. A much needed wicket for India to set the tone for the rest of the day. 

Three wickets in the first session put India on the brink of a victory 

After Elgar was dismissed with the scoreboard reading 130/5, Quinton de Kock came out with a very attacking mindset. The left hander scored 21 runs off 28 balls, including two boundaries. But given that he was looking to score off every delivery, it was only a matter of time for his fall. Mohammed Siraj’s back of a length delivery jagged back in, which de Kock tried to cut only to chop on for the second time in the match. 

In the very next over, Mohammed Shami presented an excellent seam position on a slightly fuller good length delivery, which straightened away just enough to take the outside edge of Wiaan Mulder’s bat. From no wickets in the first 45 minutes to three in the next 45 minutes, India reduced the hosts to 164/7. 

Bavuma and Marco Jansen managed to deny any further wickets as they headed into the Lunch break on 182/7. With the rain so far staying away, India could smell a victory. 

Shami and Ashwin wrap up the Test after Lunch 

It took the visitors only two overs to wrap up the Test after the Lunch break. Jansen hit a couple of boundaries to Shami but the seamer had the last laugh. An even better delivery than the one he bowled to Mulder. Shami made Jansen conscious of the ball coming in but then seamed this one away to a thick edge. Rishabh Pant pounces on for a good diving catch. 

Ravichandran Ashwin, who had been quite unimpressive throughout the match, finally got some success as Kagiso Rabada threw his hands at a loopy length delivery. It took a thick outside edge and popped up at point, where Shami made no mistake. India one wicket away from creating history! Ashwin tossed up the next delivery outside off, it spun in sharply, took the inside edge of Lungi Ngidi’s blade and Cheteshwar Pujara grabbed an easy catch at leg slip. 

Bavuma remained unbeaten on 35 off 80 balls as the rest of the batting unit succumbed to relentless pressure from the Indian bowling attack. Bumrah snared 3 for 50 in the second innings while Shami took 3 for 63. Siraj and Ashwin claimed two wickets each. 

Shami claimed excellent match figures of 8 for 107 but it was KL Rahul, who was awarded the ‘player of the match’ for his 123 that set up the match for the visitors perfectly. 

India cap off the year with another fortress breach 

The current Indian Test side has produced the greatest year in their history of red-ball cricket. It started with a monumental win at the Gabba – breaching Australia’s fortress. They ended the year by breaching Centurion – South Africa’s fortress. 

In between, they won at Lord’s they won at Oval against England. Defeated the WTC champions New Zealand at home. What a surreal time for the Indians fans as Virat Kohli’s team India stamps its authority all over the world. 

Before this Test, South Africa had won a staggering 21 out of 26 matches at Centurion, with their last loss at the venue coming in February 2014 against Australia. Today’s defeat becomes only the third occasion the Proteas have been humbled at this ground in 26-yr history. 

With this 113-run victory at Centurion, India have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series and look favourites to clinch their first ever series victory in the rainbow nation. Kohki has also won the most away Tests by an India skipper following this win, which puts him on the pedestal as one of the greatest skippers from the country, at least in the format.

Also Read: Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli – A Deep Dive Into the Numbers of Two Stalwarts

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