Six-wicket hero Philander soars

Vernon Philander fires in a delivery on his way to a basketful of wickets.
Vernon Philander fires in a delivery on his way to a basketful of wickets.
Image: REUTERS

South Africa's fast bowlers, led by Vernon Philander, blasted through India's batting to gain a 72-run win on the fourth day of the first Test at Newlands yesterday.

Philander took six for 42, with Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada claiming two wickets each as India were subjected to a pace barrage in bowler-friendly conditions.

South Africa were reduced to three fast bowlers because of a heel injury suffered by Dale Steyn on Saturday.

Earlier, it was the Indian bowlers who held sway when South Africa were bowled out for 130 in their second innings, losing their last eight wickets for 65 runs.

India's run chase started well, with Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan putting on 30 for the first wicket, although Vijay was reprieved on review twice after being given out against Philander for leg before wicket and a catch behind the wicket.

But then Dhawan was caught at gully off his bat handle when he got into a tangle against a lifting ball from Morkel. Six balls later it was third time lucky for Philander as Vijay edged a catch to AB de Villiers at third slip.

Philander claimed the key wicket of Indian captain Virat Kohli, who had looked confident in scoring 28 before being trapped leg before wicket.

Philander struck again when Rohit Sharma was bowled off an inside edge and Rabada dismissed first innings top scorer Hardik Pandya for one, caught by De Villiers at third slip.

Rabada trapped Wriddhiman Saha leg before with the last ball before tea to leave India in a desperate situation in a match which hastened to a conclusion despite the loss of the third day because of rain.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar put on 49 for the eighth wicket before Philander took the last three wickets in the space of four balls.

Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah were the main destroyers of the South African batting, taking three wickets each. Shami started the collapse, dismissing Hashim Amla with the ninth ball of the morning and taking three wickets for 28 runs.

Bumrah took three for 39, including the wicket of SA captain Faf du Plessis, with an unplayable delivery that lifted sharply off a good length and flicked a glove.

Despite being ruled out of the rest of the series, Steyn, who arrived at the ground on crutches, limped to the wicket as the last batsman with De Villiers, who top-scored with 35.

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