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India two wickets away from series sweep
Ranchi: India’s pace prowess came to the fore yet again as Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav bossed over a fragile South African batting line-up to put the hosts on the cusp of a 3-0 whitewash here on Monday.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli has surpassed Mohammad Azharuddin as the Indian captain who has enforced follow-on most number of times after he asked South Africa to bat again on Day 3 of the third Test here on Monday.
Kohli has now enforced follow-on eight times, while Azharuddin did it on seven occasions followed by Mahendra Singh Dhoni (5) and Sourav Ganguly (4).
As many as 16 South African wickets fell on day three of the third and final Test with Shami and Umesh doing the bulk of the damage.
The duo bowled with fiery pace and were also rewarded for consistently attacking the stumps. Staring at another massive defeat, South Africa were 132 for eight in their second innings at stumps with India needing to turn up on day four to complete formalities.
It has proved to be another dismal tour of India for the South African batsmen and notwithstanding the high quality of fast bowling, they looked like sitting ducks on Monday.
Resuming the day at nine for two in their first innings, South Africa were bowled out for 162 before India enforced the follow-on. Umesh set the tone of the day by clean bowling South African skipper Faf du Plessis with an unplayable late outswinger.
If Umesh was lethal in the first innings, Shami upped his game in the second. The left-arm spinners, debutant Shahbaz Nadeem and Ravindra Jadeja, too did their bit as India steamrolled the opposition. Like he had done in the first innings, Umesh gave the first breakthrough in South Africa’s second essay when he cleaned up Quinton de Kock (5) with a perfect length delivery that angled across the left-hander.
Then Shami ripped through the middle-order, first castling Zubayr Hamza for a duck with a full length delivery before getting rid of Faf Du Plessis (4) and Temba Bavuma (0) in successive overs to leave them gasping at 22 four in their second innings. An early tea was taken as both the teams were left shaken after opener Dean Elgar was hit on the helmet by a 145kmph bouncer from Yadav.
The batsman took a pause, sat on the ground before going off the field. India wrapped up the South African first innings for 162 in 56.2 overs in yet another meek batting surrender that lasted less than two sessions after the visitors resumed the day at nine for two in five overs.
Local lad Nadeem cleaned up the tail by trapping Anrich Nortje in front to make it a memorable debut, returning with figures of 11.2-4-22-2.
Nadeem had his “big moment” when he dismissed Temba Bavuma (32) for his first wicket in international cricket. He foxed Bavuma with his flight as the batsman stepped out of the crease, leaving Wriddhiman Saha to do the rest.
Brief Scores: India: 497/9 declared; South Africa: 162 all out (Zubayr Hamza 62, Temba Bavuma 32; Umesh Yadav 3/40) & 132/8 (following on) (Theunis de Bruyn 30*, Shami 3/10). (PTI)