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Jadeja five-for gives India 213-run lead

Wisden India logo Wisden India 04-12-2015

The batting woes that have typified South Africa’s series so far continued into the fourth and final Test in New Delhi as they were bowled out for 121 on Day 2 on Friday (December 4).

AB de Villiers was once again the only South African batsman to fare well, but the rest of the lineup crumbled around him after a decent start. Ravindra Jadeja was the wrecker-in-chief, returning an excellent 5 for 30 as South Africa fell 213 runs behind after the first-innings exchanges at Ferozeshah Kotla.

India opted not to enforce follow on, and M Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan will walk out to bat on the third morning in an attempt at stretching the lead beyond South Africa’s reach for a 3-0 series scoreline.

Earlier, India were dismissed for 334 early in the second session, but only after Ajinkya Rahane completed his first Test century on home soil with a 215-ball 127. He put on 98 for the eighth wicket with the impressive R Ashwin, who went on to notch up 56 off 140 balls to boost India’s total.

Thereafter, Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma got South Africa off to good start, putting on 36 for the opening wicket. And despite the loss of Elgar to Umesh Yadav, South Africa went to tea at a relatively healthy 38 for 1.

Jadeja five-for gives India 213-run lead © AP Photo Jadeja five-for gives India 213-run lead

However, everything unravelled in the final session.

While Ashwin has taken the plaudits so far in the series for his excellent exhibition of spin bowling, it was Jadeja who came to the fore this time. He started the procession of wickets when he had a clueless Bavuma bowled for a 55-ball 22.

With de Villiers arriving to accompany Amla, South Africa had two senior batsmen in the middle. They needed to keep the wickets intact, but Amla’s wretched series continued as he was caught behind off Jadeja again. Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy fell soon after without troubling the scorers, and South Africa were reduced 65 for 5.

De Villiers, meanwhile, had gotten off to an explosive start, but he had to rein himself in, given the flow of wickets at the other end. He added 14 for the sixth wicket with Dane Vilas, before Ishant Sharma had the latter’s off stump clattering away. Kyle Abbott then became Ashwin’s first wicket of the day, before Dane Piedt offered more brief support to de Villiers, the two adding 19 for the eighth wicket.

Morne Morkel then arrived, and de Villiers decided to make a run to avoid the follow on.

However, that only made him vulnerable. He charged Jadeja and sliced him towards the long-off, where Ishant was stationed with big hands. He plucked out a fine catch to give Jadeja his five-for. South Africa were 118 for 9, and the innings ended soon after when Imran Tahir holed out off Ashwin.

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