Nagpur | Taking full advantage of a turning track, spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja ripped apart the South Africa batting line up as India bundled out the Proteas for just 79 runs in the first innings of the third Test here Thursday.
It is South Africa’s lowest-ever score against India in test cricket.
Off-spinner Ashwin grabbed 5 for 32 and left-arm spinner Jadeja snapped up 4 for 33 on the morning session of the second day. Leg- spinner Amit Mishra, brought late into the attack, finished with 1 for 9.
India, who have taken a handy 136-run lead, took lunch at 7 for no loss. Openers Murali Vijay (5) and Shikhar Dhawan (2) were the unbeaten batsmen at the break.
The visitors lost eight wickets this morning after resuming at 11 for 2. In one and a half hours batting, they were bowled out for their lowest score against India, beating the earlier ignominy of 84 all out in Johannesburg in December, 1996.
South Africa’s previous lowest score in a Test in India was 105 in 1996 at Ahmedabads Motera Stadium.
Jean-Paul Duminy, let off twice off Ashwin, top-scored with 35 in 65 balls before being dismissed by Mishra.
Off-spinner Simon Harmer came up with the next best score of 13 in a pathetic and clueless batting display that also saw their main hope A B de Villiers and captain Hashim Amla dismissed for a duck and 1 run respectively.
In the morning the visitors plunged headlong into trouble on viciously turning track by losing three wickets inside five overs to be at a pathetic 12 for 5.
Ashwin sent back overnight unbeaten batsmen Dean Elgar, who chopped the ball on to his stumps, and Amla in the space of three balls in successive overs as the score advanced by just one run.
Elgar was packed off without any addition to his score off the fifth ball of the morning. Amla (1) tried to sweep the off-spinner and was caught at slip as the ball hit his glove, hit the back of his bat, and went to Ajinkya Rahane off wicket keeper Wridhiman Saha’s shoulder.
But the biggest blow came in the very next over when A B de Villiers was committed to play a leg-side shot to a ball from Jadeja that turned sharply, stopped on the batsman and the resultant ballooning catch was gleefully accepted by the bowler himself by running to his right.
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