The second Test between South Africa and India gets off to a manic start as both teams suffer batting collapses.
India has suffered a spectacular collapse, losing six batters for no runs as 23 wickets fell on a crazy opening day of their second Test against South Africa at Newlands.
Resuming on 153-4 after tea, the home team ran through India’s batting order to bowl them out for 153 in the space of 11 deliveries with Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Nandre Burger snapping up three wickets each.
South Africa’s stand-in skipper Dean Elgar was at a loss to explain a frenetic opening day but said South Africa will fancy their chances of victory if they can set India a target of 100 or more.
“I would take 100 all day,” Elgar told reporters. “When our bowlers click, they can rip through any batting lineup, and on this wicket, that is possible.”
Elgar was out for 4 and 12 in his final Test before retirement, having won the toss and elected to bat first on what he knew would be a tricky surface.
“I didn’t know it would play in that way, though. With the naked eye, it did not look so bad,” he said. “But it’s one of those wickets where if you knuckle down, you never know what can happen.
Earlier, South Africa were bowled out for just 55 in 23.2 overs, sliding to their lowest total since being readmitted to Test cricket in 1991 after Mohammed Siraj claimed a Test best haul of 6-15.
South Africa then reached the close of play on 62-3 in their second innings, trailing by 36 runs overall with Aiden Markram unbeaten on 36 and David Bedingham seven not out.
India were looking good in its first innings when Rohit Sharma (39) and Shubman Gill (36) were putting on 55 for the second wicket, the day’s highest partnership.
Burger removed Sharma before Gill added 33 for the third wicket with Virat Kohli, then had Gill caught in the gully and dismissed Shreyas Iyer for a two-ball duck.
Kohli went on to make 46, sharing a stand of 43 for the fifth wicket with KL Rahul as India went to tea in a seemingly healthy position.
However, wickets fell thick and fast after the interval. Ngidi tested Rahul with extra bounce, and he was caught behind. Two balls later, Ravindra Jadeja went to the same bowler, and two balls later, Ngidi snared Jasprit Bumrah.
Rabada captured Kohli’s wicket, Siraj was run out and the innings ended when Prasidh Krishna was caught at slip. There were five ducks among the last six dismissed batters.
Earlier, South Africa had suffered their own embarrassing collapse before lunch.
Paceman Siraj registered his third five-wicket haul in his 23rd Test and his first against South Africa. Bumrah also took 2-25 while Mukesh Kumar picked up two wickets without conceding a run in 2.2 overs.
In South Africa’s second innings, Markram came out to attack, hitting six fours in 51 balls.
But Elgar was caught at slip for 12 off Kumar, who also removed Tony de Zorzi for one, while Tristan Stubbs was also out for one.
South Africa won the opening match of the two-match series by an innings and 32 runs.