Well Played Proteas!
After a dramatic first test in Johannesburg, South Africa came back stronger to win the second test and win the test series.
Johannesburg test match witnessed one of the best ever matches, both the teams put up a great fight and the result was a draw and no one knew what could happen till the last moment. Things changed at Durban, India having won the toss and decided to bat first, Put on a great start, at the end of day-1 India were 181/1, Murali Vijay and Pujara were at the middle, and Dhawan was the only wicket to fell that day and it was a tough day for the South African bowlers and Morkel was the only success. Vijay remained unbeaten on 91 and Pujara on 58 and they both made things difficult for the South African bowlers.
Day 2 : Looked like, India was in a strong position. But, things changed soon. Steyn, who just picked up one wicket in the first test, was all charged up. Indian batsman struggled to his pace bowling. Pujara(70) was the first man back to the pavilion, caught behind, bowled Steyn. Murali Vijay who had played so well was dismissed for 97, Steyn again. Two back to back wickets and India certainly looked in back seat. Virat Kohli(46) who had a good show in South Africa missed out his half century, a brilliant catch again by AB de Villiers and Morkel had picked his second wicket of the match. Rohit Sharma’s poor show continued and was out for a duck.Dhoni scored 24, Rahane showed some resistance and scored a half century, that was his first ever half century in tests and an important one for him and for the team. With no big contributions from the lower order, India were all out for 334. Rahane remained unbeaten on 51. Steyn had picked 6/100, three from Morkel and one from Duminy. In reply, South African openers put on a great start and day two ended with South Africa 82/0.
Day 3, Day 4: Smith and Alviro started off well and they had a century partnership between them. Smith(47) was the first batsman to be dismissed, Jadeja got the breakthrough. Amla again fell in Shami’s bowling. King Kallis stepped in with Guard of Honor from Indian players. Playing his last test match, he along with AB de Villiers added 127 for the fourth wicket and carrying forward, Kallis scored his 45th test century and that was a brilliant knock, he would remember for rest of his life. Certainly one of the best all rounder the cricketing world had seen. Kallis went on to score 115 and AB de Villiers scored 74,with contributions from Steyn(44), faf(43) and Robin Peterson(61), South Africa were all out for 500. India’s Ravindra Jadeja picked up 6 for 138, and the first left arm spinner since 1982 to pick up 6 wickets in overseas for India. In reply, India lost Murali Vijay early and Dhawan for 19 runs and India were two down for 53. EOD, Pujara and Kohli remained unbeaten on 32 and 11 respectively, India 68/2.
Day 5 : South Africa just needed 8 wickets, and India needed their batsmen to stay till the end. Once again, Steyn started things for his team. The wicket of Kohli the very first ball, a big blow for India and it seemed Virat Kohli was unlucky to be given out. Pujara was knocked over by Steyn for 32. Rohit Sharma started off well and did not stay long and was out for 25, trapped before by Philander. Dhoni was out for just 15 runs, Rahane who put up a great fight in the first innings had to repeat the same, he was running out of partners. The young Rahane went on to score a brilliant 96 batting with the lower order. Steyn picked up his 350th wicket dismissing Ishant Sharma and Rahane was the last man to be dismissed for 96,bowled Philander. India had taken the lead of 57 and the home team chased down with ease and won by 10 wickets.
AB de Villiers was adjudged man of the series for his 190 runs and 14 Catches over all in this test series, Dale Steyn was the man of the match for his 9 wickets.
And, Wishing you all RCB’ians a very happy new year folks! Have fun!