Siraj, Bumrah script India’s famous win in shortest Test ever

By BD Naraayannkar

Cape Town, Jan 4 (UNI) After a heap of heartbreak last year of not winning the finals of the ODI World Cup last year, the New Year as per the Gregorian Calendar brought cheers for millions of Indians back home as they started off the year in a fascinating way by etching out their first win at Newlands by beating South Africa by 7 wickets in the final Test of the two-match series here on Thursday.

The Test ended with India leveling the series 1-1 in five sessions, making it the shortest completed match in the history of the game’s longest format.

After getting a royal beating from the hosts at the Centurion in the first Test, Mohammed Siraj won the match for India in the very first session of the match by hauling up his career-best six-fer in Tests that saw South Africa bundled out for a meager 55 runs in 23.2 overs.

In reply, India took a crucial lead by losing just 4 wickets for 153, but a staggering collapse triggered by Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi, saw the visitors lose their last six wickets without adding a run.

After conceding a lead of 98, South Africa lost three wickets as 23 wickets fell at stumps on Day 1.

Today’s game was also quick-paced as Bumrah was on the dot and picked up his third Test five-fer in The Rainbow Nation.

For South Africa, Aiden Markram played one of the most memorable innings scoring 106 off 103 balls by hammering 17 boundaries and 2 sixes on an evil turf to push his side beyond a 50-run lead.

Siraj removed the big fish and Bumrah wrapped up the proceedings to finish with 6/61.

Needing 79 with three and half days to go in the match, young Yashasvi Jaiswal applied the great Desmond Haynes method of chasing down small totals in a flurry, and he succeeded, though he did not time some shots as required. He threw his bat at almost everything and smashed 6 boundaries as he gave his team a thumping start.

India lost three wickets – Jaiswal (28), Shubman Gill (10) and Virat Kohli (12) – but hardly dripped with sweat in the fourth innings.

Earlier, Markram got a reprieve after wicketkeeper KL Rahul spilled a lolly off Bumrah, and there was no looking back for the South African opener as he produced some incredible shots en route to scoring his 7th Test century.

Markram’s century forced captain Dean Elgar to stand on his feet to acknowledge the milestone with a big roar from the pavilion. His onslaught left Indian pacers clueless and frustrated as he was hitting the ball all around the park in T20 gear.

Markram was severe on Prasidh Krishna as smoked the tall lanky Karnataka bowler for 20 runs in an over, and with 7 batsmen back into the hut, it was a matter of time before Markram would be hunted down. He top-edged Mohammed Siraj into the hands of Rohit Sharma, who threw the ball onto the ground, considering the hosts were quickly extending the lead on a pitch where 23 wickets fell on Day 1.

Surprisingly, it was Siraj’s second over of the day after Rohit lobbed the ball to him on seeing Prasidh and Mukesh Kumar leaking runs.

In his very third ball of the day, Bumrah snubbed David Bedingham out caught behind KL Rahul and then scalped Kyle Verreynne. Soon after, he took a stunning catch and bowled to send Marco Jansen back, leaving India to get the last three wickets.

Finally, Prasidh got one in the form of Kagiso Rabada who slapped him to Rohit at mid-off. Bumrah came back for his second spell and immediately dismissed Ngidi to wrap up South Africa to 176, leaving India to get 79 runs to win.

Bumrah became the third-highest Indian wicket-taker in South Africa (38) behind Srinath and Anil Kumble.

Brief scores: South Africa 55 (Mohammed Siraj 6-15) and 176 (Aiden Markram 106, Jasprit Bumrah 6/61) lost to India 153 (Virat Kohli 46, Rohit Sharma 39, Shubman Gill 36; Lungi Ngidi 3-30, Kagiso Rabada 3-38 Nandre Burger 3-42) and 80/3 (Yashasvi Jaiswal 28; Marco Jansen 1-15) by seven wickets.

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