Proteas, India deliver ‘crazy day’ of Test cricket at Newlands
The bowlers had a field day, with India's Mohammed Siraj picking up a best return of 6/15.
Dean Elgar leave the field for the last time in his SA Test career. Picture: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images
South Africa trail by 36 runs against India in the second Test between the nations after a quite remarkable day of Test action at Newlands in Cape Town on Wednesday.
Both the Proteas and India have already batted once in the match, both teams being bundled out for low scores on a seamer-friendly pitch.
Rohit Sharma’s team will go into the second day on Thursday with the advantage, having already picked up three South African wickets late in the day on Wednesday in their hosts’ second time at the crease.
Siraj takes six
South Africa were 62/3 overnight. Aiden Markram was on 36 and David Bedingham on seven.
In total, 23 wickets fell on the day.
South Africa captain Dean Elgar, who won the toss and opted to bat first, called the day’s action “crazy”.
“I didn’t expect it to play like that,” said Elgar about his decision to bat first and after seeing the pitch on Wednesday morning. “It didn’t look bad … it didn’t look horrible.
“But all credit to India, they executed to a T. It played quicker than we thought and it got quicker as the day went on.
“It was just a crazy day of Test cricket.”
It was also a day for the fast bowlers on Wednesday with a number of them picking up several wickets, starting with Mohammed Siraj starting the destruction in the first session of the day. The India seamer returned figures of 6/15 in nine overs, with South Africa bundled out for a paltry 55.
Kyle Verreynne (15) and Bedingham (12) were the only batters to make double figures.
Then, India, who were well set and in charge at 153 for four in the third session of the day, lost their last six wickets for no runs in 11 balls to grab a 98 run lead. Lungi Ngidi, with three in an over, was well supported by Nandre Burger and Kagiso Rabada who also both grabbed three wickets each.
Virat Kohli with 46 was India’s top scorer, with Sharma (39) and Shubman Gill (36) playing good supporting roles.
South Africa returned to the crease for their second knock and while they started well, and appeared to apply themselves better, were quickly three down — Elgar (12), Tony de Zorzi (one) and Tristan Stubbs (one) dismissed cheaply.
Elgar, playing his final Test, was dismissed for four in his first knock. He received a standing ovation when leaving the field, but will hope for some special performance from his team-mates on Thursday if South Africa are to win the match and take the series 2-0.
South Africa won the first Test by more than innings in Centurion last week.
With 23 wickets having fallen on the opening day — the joint most in the history of Test cricket — there is every possibility that the match will be over in two days.