Shami five-for sees India go one nil up in three match series

India vs South Africa: Highlights from day 5 of the first Test between India and South Africa at the ACA-VDCA ground in Vishakapatnam.

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Faf du Plessis looks on as Mohammed Shami celebrates his dismissal.   -  K.R. Deepak

HIghlight's of day five of the first India vs South Africa Test in Visakhapatnam.

 

SOUTH AFRICA ALL-OUT AND INDIA WINS BY 203 RUNS. Shami with a length ball. Rabada gets an outside edge and Saha takes the catch to finish things for India. And that's a five wicket haul for the pacer. A good resistance from South Africa's lower order but India has too much in its arsenal, especially on the way this pitch has behaved on the fifth day.

A good comeback to red ball cricket for Ravichandran Ashwin, Rohit Sharma had a fantastic debut as a Test opener, maiden Test ton for Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja came up with the goods at home once again and Mohammed Shami has once again been potent in the second innings.

A confident India, with 40 points added to its Test Championship kitty, moves to Pune for the second Test which begins on October 10. South Africa has a lot to work on before that. The batsman have lacked consistency and the bowlers did much better with the bat than with the ball.

Here's Ayan Acharya's match report from Vizag.

Until then, good bye.

161/9, 59.1 overs Shami is back into the attack and dismisses Piedt with the first ball!  He tries to drive but gets an inside edge and the stumps come off.

Impressive innings from Piedt. Only the two centurions in the first innings have scored more than him for South Africa in this Test.

With that wicket, Shami becomes the second Indian pacer to pick the stumps of four batsmen in the same innings of a Test match. Jasprit Bumrah was the first.

149/8, 51.5 overs Take a bow Piedt! Half century for the 29-year-old. Punches a delivery from Rohit Sharma through extra cover, takes two runs and takes in the apllause. What an effort this has been. And it wasn't a slow innings from him. Faced 86 balls and is going strong with a strike rate of 58.14. He might have been battered by the Indian batsmen but he has stood firm when the top and middle order crumbled.

134/8, 47.3 overs Beautiful square drive from Muthusamy as he sends Ashwin's delivery to point for four runs. A 64 run partnership now, the highest ninth wicket partnership for South Africa against India. They have gone past the 60 set by Alan Donald and AB de Villiers in Ahmedabad in 1996.

121/8, 44.2 overs Muthusamy hits one down to the fine leg boundary to pick up four runs. And with that, he brings up the fifty run partnership.

Senuran Muthusamy and Dane Piedt are taking guard. These two have put a stubborn 47 run partnership and looked confident that most of their team mates. If they manage to hold on till the next session, that'd be a wonderful effort.

South Africa is 117/8 in 42 overs as we head to lunch. Piedt and Senuran Muthusamy have shown the kind of patience need to deal with the Indian bowlers, something that was missing from the top and middle order. They have tackled the extra 15 minutes and will now get a well deserved break to refresh and come back after lunch. The game plan now will be frustrate the bowlers and hold on till the end of day play. 13 points (for the World Test Championships) are on offer for a draw, lest we forget. And to get them away, on the Indian subcontinent would mean a lot for the Proteas. We'll back soon for what should be another testing session the batsmen.

104/8, 36 overs Piedt has tackled Jadeja the best of all South African batsmen today. That's right-arm off break bowler Piedt. Gets two more boundaries off Jadeja and only Markram has scored more than him in this innings.

Kohli has requested for another fifteen minutes so lunch has been pushed back. And if India manages to get a wicket in the fifteen minutes, we'll see 30 minutes added to the fifteen as India goes in for the kill.

94/8, 34.2 overs Dane Piedt isn't afraid to attack Jadeja. He welcomes him by lifting the ball over mid-on for four runs. The next ball, he takes it up a notch. Slog-sweeps a fuller ball and sends it over deep square leg for maximum. That also means that this is now the most sixes scored in a Test.

70/8, 26.5 overs It is all falling apart for South Africa! Three wicket for Jadeja in four balls. Markram fell first, caught and bowled. He was lured into going over the boelwer's head but doesn't connect well. Jadeja takes a superb left handed catch on the jump and lets out a roar.

Two balls later, Philander is caught leg before. The ballw as fuller on the stumps and he misses a flick. Jadeja appeals but the umpire isn't convined. Kohli is nudged to go for the review and it is a successful one. Gone for zero in the both the innings.

And immediately, Keshav Maharaj gets out for a golden duck. Very similar to the way Philander got out, apart the slightly better bounce on this delivery. Length ball that misses the bat and is into the back pad. Huge appeal and this time the umpire raises his finger. In four balls, South Africa's game plan has gone from fighting for a win to holding fort for a draw.

60/5, 23.1 overs Shami picks up another. Peach of an inswinger and the off stump comes off again. Six balls after walking in, Quinton de Kock marches back to the pavilion. That's the third time today that Shami has hit the stumps. Precision bowling. With half of its batsmen gone, South Africa's hopes are rapidly fading in Vizag.

52/4, 21.5 overs Shami back into the attack, Shami takes a wicket. And this time, Faf du Plessis sees his wicket rattled. He has been leaving too many balls around off and maybe Shami made a note of that. The ball keeps low, again, and seams back into the off-stump. The Proteas skipper has an astonished look on his face as he walks.

48/3, 21 overs And a maiden for Jadeja. Markram deals with his cautiously. Defends the first three balls, lets the nest two go as there was too much turn on it and is beaten on the final ball as he tries to defend it again. Shami is brought back into the attack now, replacing Ishant.

48/3, 20 overs Ravindra Jadeja was seen warming up earlier and as expected he comes into the attack. He replaces Ravishandran Ashwin.

POTENTIAL RECORD The last six from du Plessis made it 35 sixes in this Test, which equals the most sixes hit in a Test match ever. One more and we'll have a new record.

38/3, 18 overs Good timing from du Plessis to finish Ishant's over with four runs. Whips it to the square leg boundary. This is the kind of start that India would have hoped for before the day's play began. More than de Bruyn and Bavuma's dismissals, the way the ball moved would have made the home side optimistic.

30/3, 14.1 overs Nope, not playing it that safe! Three balls since we said that maybe going slow to get used to the pitch was a better plan, South Africa has hit a boundary and a six. du Plessis sends a Shami delivery to the fine leg fence and then Markram wallops one from Ashwin over long-on.

20/3, 13.4 overs Another Shami ball that stays low and du Plessis is a little late to get his bat down. The ball sneaks under and flies to Saha.

South Africa's three wickets have involved low bounce. The Proteas came out with a positive mind and got the runs going from the first ball. But maybe this pitch takes time getting used to. Wonder how du Plessis and Markram deal with it now.

20/3 | ANOTHER BATSMAN WALKS Temba Bavuma, who just came in, walks back. Not the start that South Africa would have wanted. Length ball from Shami and it stays low. Perhaps much lower than Bavuma expected as he topples trying to adjust and the wickets get rattled. South Africa needs a hero and Faf du Plessis comes in. Can he hold fort?

GONE! Theunis de Bruyn walks and that's a landmark wicket for Ravichandran Ashwin! Becomes the fastest man, along with Muttiah Muralitharan, to get to 350 Test wickets. The ball spins back from good length and stays low. de Bruyn can not get his bat down on time and the ball is straight into the stumsps. South Africa 19/2.

100
 

FINAL DAY, FIRST BALL And runs straight away for South Africa. Mohammed Shami with a short of length delivery that's a little wide. Aiden Markram, on the backfoot, punches it cover for a single.

Fighting words from Philander Vernon Philander believes that his team is still “within a shot” of winning the first Test against India and backed his batsmen to emulate their first innings effort on day five here.

Pitch report Sunil Gavaskar: "Low and slow pitch, but still a good pitch to bat on. The way India batted in the second innings, it showed that you can survive and still score. If South Africa apply themselves, they can survive. Just focus and you can do it."

Easier said than done, right?

The Che Pujara show Grafters don't usually make good viewing. But there is a rebellious pleasure in watching a batsman knuckle down for a 62-ball eight, especially when the odds are stacked against him. It’s like building a monument of abstinence, only for it to be torn apart methodically when the time is ripe. Watching Pujara bat in the second innings in Visakhapatnam felt a bit like that.

For a batsman whose game is based on the ability to keep out good balls for longer periods – and he got a handful of those – Pujara executed his game plan to precision.

FINAL DAY, CAN INDIA COME OUT ON TOP? Rohit Sharma, with his twin hundreds, and Mayank Agarwal with his daddy ton have all but extinguished South Africa's hopes of a win in Vizag. Throw Pujara's dogged innings in there and the Indian batsmen would believe they've got the ideal workout before the caravan moves to Pune.

So, what can the Proteas achieve out of this Test? Well, the next seven hours — assuming they last that long — will be a test of character, technique and toughness for the tourists. As skipper Faf du Plessis had reminded all during the pre-match press conference, "You will either disappear or come back stronger."

Which one will it be?

POTENTIAL RECORD ALERT Ravichandran Ashwin is one wicket away from equalling Muttiah Muralitharan’s record of being the fastest to 350 wickets in Test cricket. Click here for more on that.

PODCAST Before the live action starts in Vizag, we've got something special for you. From struggling to cope with an injury and almost letting go of cricket to now being one wicket away from becoming the joint-fastest bowler to get to 350 Test wickets, Ravichandran Ashwin's return to Test cricket has been an interesting journey.

Hear about it from the man himself on our podcast, Couch Talk:

Day 4 review

After the Day Three fightback, South Africa was put under pressure once again as Indian opener Rohit Sharma struck his second century of the match, an assured, elegant knock, that served as the bedrock of the big total India scored before declaring. Pujara gave him good company, and later, Jadeja, Kohli, and Rahane scored quickly.

The wicket of Dean Elgar has clearly given India the edge. South Africa has a tough task on Day Five of surviving the contest and has 98 overs to negotiate. Click here to read our reporter Ayan Acharya's day 4 report from Vizag.