Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
28 Dec 2021
12:18 pm

UPDATE: Ngidi stars with six of the best to lead Proteas fightback

Ken Borland

South Africa bounced back after a tough first day of the first Test and after day two was washed out.

Kagiso Rabada shares a moment with Lungi Ngidi, who claimed six India wickets for the Proteas on day three of the first Test in Centurion on Tuesday. Picture: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images

Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada made short work of the rest of the Indian first innings at SuperSport Park on Tuesday, causing a thrilling collapse that saw the tourists lose their last seven wickets for just 55 runs to be dismissed for 327 on the third day of the first Test.

Resuming on 272 for three with two set batsmen in Lokesh Rahul (122) and Ajinkya Rahane (40), after rain washed out Monday’s second day, it was Rabada who began the drama with his first short ball of the day, having Rahul caught behind for 123 as he flapped at the hook shot and gloved it to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

It was the fourth over of the day and 278/4 quickly became 308/9 as Ngidi, who took all three wickets to fall on the first day, added the scalps of Rahane, caught behind for 48, Rishabh Pant, caught at bat/pad for 8, and Mohammed Shami (8), who also edged to De Kock.

Rabada dismissed dangerous lower-order batsmen Ravichandran Ashwin (4) and Shardul Thakur (4) to ensure there would be no meaningful wagging of the tail.

Ngidi then rested with outstanding figures of 6/71 in 24 overs, the second time he has taken six wickets in an innings against India on his home ground, while Rabada finished with 3/72 in 26 overs.

Jasprit Bumrah (14) cleared his arms at the end of the innings as he added 19 for the last wicket with Mohammed Siraj (4*), but Marco Jansen removed him for his maiden Test wicket, Wiaan Mulder taking a smart catch at third slip.

Left-armer Jansen had to do plenty of leg-work though for his first wicket, bowling 18.3 overs and conceding 69 runs.

Captain Dean Elgar fell in the first over of the South African reply, Bumrah angling the ball beautifully across his pads to find the edge and have him caught behind for 1, although more assertive footwork might have saved the left-hander.

But Aiden Markram (9*) and Keegan Petersen, who impressed with the way he strided forward to meet the ball, stroking a couple of confident boundaries in his 11*, completed the job of taking South Africa through to lunch without further loss, the home side going into the break on 21/0 after seven overs.