India ruthlessly romped to a 203-run victory over the Proteas in the first Test at Visakhapatnam. Photo: @BCCI on twitter

CAPE TOWN – India ruthlessly romped to a 203-run victory over the Proteas in the first Test at Visakhapatnam.

Only a record 91-run partnership for the ninth wicket between Dane Piedt (56) and Senuran Muthusamy (49*) stalled the inevitable.

Piedt played beautifully for his maiden Test half-century, but he too fell to the impressive Mohammed Shami.

With everyone expecting India’s spin bowlers to create havoc on the final day, it was Shami’s seam deliveries that did the most damage. The 29-year-old maintained his record of impressive second innings spells and finished with figures of 5/35.

With the pitch offering uneven bounce, Shami stuck to a wicket-to-wicket line and reaped the rewards by bowling all of his victims. Temba Bavuma was again cleaned up with a ball that kept low, captain Faf du Plessis misjudged a delivery outside his off-stump, while first innings centurion Quinton de Kock was dismissed in similar fashion.

Shami’s heroics opened the door for Ravindra Jadeja to tear through the middle-order with three wickets in one over (Aiden Markram, Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj) that set in motion the victory charge.

Piedt and Muthusamy battled valiantly, though, to take the game into the second session with both batsmen showing the top-order what could have been achieved through greater application.

However, Shami returned after lunch to close off proceedings, claiming both the wickets of Piedt and last-man Kagiso Rabada to allow the hosts to take a 1-0 advantage into the second Test in Pune next week.

South Africa certainly have plenty to ponder over the coming days with the form of their top-order, particularly Theunis de Bruyn and Temba Bavuma, a cause for concern. Equally, the decision to play three spinners will come under the spotlight, especially with Piedt and Muthusamy both being more effective with the bat rather than the ball. 



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