South Africa beat India by 72 runs in first Test

AB de Villiers

Rain played spoilsport for the entire day and no play was possible on the third day of the series opener between South Africa and India at Newlands, Cape Town on Sunday.

Vernon Philander took career-best figures of 6/42 to bowl India out for 135 in their second innings in the first test at Newlands, helping the Proteas record a 73-run victory.

India lost 3-14 after lunch but Pandya, having survived a number of scares - he overturned a caught-behind dismissal on five, was dropped on 15 by Dean Elgar, and profited from a missed stumping by Quinton de Kock on 71 - ensured the tourists trailed by just 77 on first innings.

In the series against England, the South African pacer sustained a shoulder injury that kept him out for two Tests but he suffered a major setback when he broke his shoulder bone during the Perth Test against Australia which sidelined him for 13 months. Captain Virat Kohli was the second-highest scorer with 28 as the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

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Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah were the pick of the bowlers with 3-wickets each while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya finished with 2 wickets each.

Ultimately, South Africa's bowlers played the match-winning role in a game where the momentum swung back and forth wildly between the two teams. South Africa would have probably thought of batting long and then give a big target to India.

India removed eight South African batsmen for just 65 runs in the first session, with South Africa's own collapse in the morning forcing injured fast bowler Steyn to come out to bat to try to prolong the innings.

India's run chase started promisingly 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.

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