South Africa vs India 2018: Five-wicket star Yuzvendra Chahal is SK Player of the Day
Riding on the momentum generated by their Test win in Johannesburg and ODI victory in Durban, India's charge continued at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. This time around, Yuzvendra Chahal was their protagonist. The leg-spinner's historic five-wicket haul spelt doom for a feeble South African outfit.
On a surface offering plenty of assistance for those of his ilk, Chahal wreaked havoc on South Africa's injury-hit and inept batting lineup. The wrist-spinner's magical spell helped him return figures of 5/22 from 8.2 overs even as the Proteas were bundled out for their lowest ODI total on home soil.
In the process, Chahal became the first Indian spinner and third overall to pick up a ODI five-wicket haul on South African soil. Interestingly, the 27-year old's effort was the first such spell by a visiting spinner against the Proteas.
When fast bowlers are also factored into account, Chahal's spell was only the second instance of an Indian picking five or more wickets in an ODI in South Africa after Ashish Nehra's stunning 6/23 against England in Durban during the 2003 World Cup.
Chahal rips through South Africa
By the time Chahal was introduced into the attack, South Africa had just managed 39 runs from their first ten overs and lost the experienced Hashim Amla. The leg-spinner planted seeds of doubt on the minds of the batsmen by extracting significant turn from his very first delivery.
Catch the highlights of all South African wickets here
In his second over, Chahal removed the dangerous Quinton de Kock with a rank long hop that was dragged from halfway across the pitch. The left-hander could only find the safe hands of Hardik Pandya at deep mid wicket. With Kuldeep Yadav's double-wicket over bursting open the flood gates at the other end, India began to assert their dominance over the South Africans.
After delivering only four overs, Chahal was surprisingly taken out of the attack and replaced with Pandya. However, as a partnership began to blossom between JP Duminy and Khaya Zondo, skipper Virat Kohli responded by throwing the ball back to the leg-spinner.
Chahal broke the partnership by getting rid of Zondo with a nicely tossed-up delivery. The debutant paid the price for taking an unnecessary risk. The wrist-spinner dealt another major blow to the Proteas by proceeding to trap Duminy in front. His propensity to generate substantial drift allowed the ball to dip on the unsuspecting southpaw who had made up his mind to unfurl the sweep shot.
After defeating Morne Morkel with a well-disguised googly, Chahal picked up his fifth wicket when he had Chris Morris caught at deep cover. Not afraid to float the ball up above the eye line of the hard-hitting all rounder, he collected his deserved reward as the aerial shot settled into the hands of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Chahal could not have picked a better occasion to collect his maiden five-wicket haul in the 50-over format. In the crucial second game of a high-profile away series on South African soil, he showed the value of leg-spin by blowing the Proteas away.