CENTURION – South Africa beat India by 135 runs in the second Test to win the Sunfoil Series with one match to spare here on Wednesday morning.
The match finished 17 minutes passed the scheduled lunch interval, with Lungi Ngidi finishing with figures of 6/39 and India bowled out for 151.
The result meant the Proteas gained a measure of revenge for the series defeat they suffered on some poorly prepared tracks on the sub-continent in 2015.
The surface prepared for this Test was actually reminiscent of one usually found in India, surprising even the tourists. At the end of the play on Tuesday Indian seam bowler Mohammed Shami said in Hindi: ““I don’t know what they were thinking, preparing this wicket for us.”
That will only make this victory that much sweeter for Faf du Plessis and his side.
South Africa has beaten India in seven out of eight series’ in this country between the two teams with India’s best result the drawn series in 2010/11.
South Africa made the first breakthrough just 18 minutes into the day, when Cheteshwar Pujara, always likely to be a key wicket, given his ability to occupy the crease for lengthy periods, was run out attempting a third run.
Parthiv Patel had guided the ball to the third man boundary where Lungi Ngidi made an excellent stop, AB de Villiers, who’d chased from third slip, picked up the ball spun and threw into wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock who broke the stumps before a diving Pujara had made his ground.
The right-hander became the first Indian player to be run out twice in the same match.
Patel was next to go thanks to a sensational diving catch on the boundary by Morne Morkel, who flung himself to his right, catching the ball in both hands to end Patel’s gutsy innings on 19.
Debutant Ngidi then picked up two wickets in quick succession; first Hardik Pandya played a dreadful shot, reaching for a wide ball, that he edged with De Kock taken a good one-handed catch and then Ravi Ashwin was caught behind for just three.
A defiant 54-run stand for the eighth wicket between Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami held up South Africa’s victory charge, before De Villiers ended the former’s innings with a sensational catch diving forward off the fine leg boundary.
Sharma top scored with 47 hitting six fours and a six.
With a result in sight, the South Africans took the extra half hour and Ngidi completed his five-fer when he had Shami caught at mid on by Morkel for 28.
The lanky quick finished off the match in the next over when Jasprit Bumrah drove the ball to Vernon Philander in the covers.
Kagiso Rabada claimed 3/47.
Lungi Ngidi picked up the Man of the Match award for match figures of 7/90 on debut.
The third and final Test starts at the Wanderers next Wednesday.