Free Press Journal

Indian spinners tighten grip on Proteas in Nagpur


Nagpur: India maintained a complete stranglehold over South Africa as the tourists require a daunting 278 runs with eight wickets remaining in the third Test to level the four-match series in Nagpur.

South Africa were 32 for two in their second innings at stumps on the second day after Stiaan van Zyl and nightwatchman Imran Tahir were dismissed cheaply on their respective scores of five and eight on the dusty pitch at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium on Thursday.

Indian spinners produced a relentless performance as Ravichandran Ashwin (5/32) and Ravindra Jadeja (4/33) shared nine wickets among themselves to bundle South Africa for mere 79 runs in their first innings, the lowest Test total against India.

The hosts then set a victory target of 310 runs after getting bowled out for 173 in their second innings. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir bagged a five-wicket haul to assert spinners’ dominance on the pitch.

As many as 32 wickets have fallen so far over two days as Hashim Amla (3) and Dean Elgar (8) will resume South Africa’s fight to maintain their nine-year-old unbeaten streak in away series.

India are aiming to seal the series after losing the preceding T20 and ODI series against South Africa. The hosts are currently leading the four-match series 1-0 following their 108-run win in the first Test in Mohali.

The second match between the two sides ended in a draw due to persistent rain and wet outfield.