The first test between the top two ranked sides ended on the 4th day with 18 wickets falling in the batting graveyard of Capetown. The test match eventually lasted three days with the rain hampering the play on the third day. The host crushed the visitors by 72 runs with more than three and a half session to spare. Vernon Philander with his career-best figures of 6 for 42 gave South Africa the 1-0 series lead in a 3 match series. He was adjudged as MoM with his 9 wicket haul in the match.
DAY 1- Bhuvi Impresses with his swing
It all started with SA skipper winning the toss and electing to bat on the first day of the test match. An excellent spell of Bhuvneshwar (7-2-29-3) led India to the flying start against the mighty hosts. AB-Devilliers along with the skipper recovered themselves from the nasty situation before the debutant Jasprit Bumrah got rid of Mr. 360 as his maiden test wicket who scored an attacking 65. The breezy knock of 43 off 40 from de-Kock and handy support from the tail led hosts to a respectable total of 286. Bhuvneshwar was the pick of the bowlers who took 4 wickets. India were soon stuttered to 28-3 at the end of Day 1.
DAY 2- Pandya presents a ‘new hope’
Relentless attacks of the pace quartet- Steyn, Philander, Rabada, and Morkel came all the guns blazing on Day 2 which led the visitors tottering at 92-7 post lunch session. The gritty Pandya threatened the hosts and with his menacing 93 off just 95. Bhuvneshwar Kumar supported him well for the valuable 99 run stand. No sooner had the partnership broken than the team bundled up for 209. The hosts took a crucial lead of 77. Proteas lost both openers with lead standing at 142 before the stumps on Day 2.
DAY 3- Rain plays villain
Persistent rain on Day 3 made it impossible for the play to begin with the day been called off without even a bowl being bowled.
DAY 4- Pacers make plenty
The hosts started Day 4 as favorites before finding themselves in a quandary against the Indian pace attack. More than half the side didn’t cross the two figure mark and was bundled up for a mere 130 giving India a chasable target of 208. India had the massive chance of going 1-0 up in the series provided Dale Steyn wasn’t available.
India had a fine opening stand of 30 before Dhawan’s top edge was pouched by Morris. Soon, the batting line-up rattled and found themselves in a daunting situation with the scoreboard reading 82-7. Bhuvaneshwar and Ashwin tried to put up a fight but could not help India out from the jaws of defeat. Philander presented an incredible show of seam bowling and crunched the visitors in the first test.
Though India got bowled out at 135, still put up some fight and showed some character to make this game an interesting one.
The second test will be at Centurion starting January 13. Meanwhile, India needs to glance upon and rectify the mistakes to counter and win the upcoming matches.