India vs South Africa 1st Test, Day 5: Shami rips through Proteas as India go 1-0 up
South Africa would have expected their frontline batsmen to tenaciously combat a potent Indian bowling attack on the ultimate day of the series opener in Vizag. The staunch resistance was eventually put forward - but from the wagging tail rather the usual suspects.
Dane Piedt and Senuran Muthusamy united forces to salvage some pride for the guest nation but ultimately could not prevent the inevitable as Mohammed Shami breached through the gates to lead the victory charge.
Eyeing a respectable stalemate, the visitors were dented early blows in the morning session. Theunis de Bruyn chopped on while attempting a flashy square cut against the turn, facilitating Ravichandran Ashwin's progression to become the joint-quickest to 350 Test wickets.
Forthwith, Shami decimated the experienced middle-order, quashing any hopes of a miraculous turnaround. Temba Bavuma was castled by a zipping shooter while Faf du Plessis ludicrously shouldered arms to a jagging nip-backer, only to witness his furniture disturbed.
Quinton de Kock prodded forward with minimal conviction as the jaffa split through the gate to rattle the timber, leaving South Africa quivering at 60/5.
Meanwhile, Aiden Markram went on about his business with a proactive mindset. Decisive in his footwork, the youngster jumped down the track occasionally to punish the spinners.
Sensing an opportunity to collect an easy boundary with the field up, Markram hammered a flighted delivery straight back to Ravindra Jadeja, who outstretched his left hand to pluck an absolute blinder.
Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj, dismissed LBW in identical fashion, couldn't withstand the prowess of the left-arm tweaker as India stood on the brink of an illustrious triumph.
Digging in to frustrate the hosts, the Piedt-Muthusamy association engineered a gritty 91-run stand for the ninth wicket. Shami provided the crucial breakthrough on the first ball of his 9th over as Piedt dragged on after a resolute 56.
Wrapping up the innings, the ace speedster terminated Kagiso Rabada's nervous presence at the crease to bag his 5th five-wicket haul in Tests as India gained 40 vital points in the World Test Championship points table.
Brief Scores: India 502/7 decl. (Mayank Agarwal 215, Rohit Sharma 176) and 323/4 decl (Rohit Sharma 127, Cheteshwar Pujara 81) beat South Africa 431 (Dean Elgar 160, Quinton de Kock 111, Faf du Plessis 55; R Ashwin 7-145) and 191 (Dane Piedt 56, Senuran Muthusamy 49*; Mohammed Shami 5-35, Ravindra Jadeja 4-87) by 203 runs.
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