India on the brink of a whitewash as Shami dismantles South Africa

By Sports Desk October 21, 2019

South Africa are on the verge of suffering a 3-0 series defeat to India after they were reduced to 132-8 in their follow-on enforced second innings in Ranchi. 

Having started day three of the final Test on 9-2, the Proteas were twice dismantled by India's rampant pace attack on Monday.

Zubayr Hamza's knock of 62 was the best South Africa had to offer in their first innings, as they were bowled out for 162, 335 runs shy of India's total.

Virat Kohli enforced the follow-on and India's pace attack - spearheaded by Mohammed Shami - once again made light work of the visitors' batting order.

Theunis de Bruyn (30 not out), a concussion substitute for Dean Elgar, offered some resistance, though India need just two wickets to round off a dominant series triumph with South Africa still 203 runs in arrears.

Things started as they would go on - South Africa captain Faf du Plessis (1) succumbing to a fine delivery from Umesh Yadav.

Hamza, with assistance from Temba Bavuma (32), managed to steady the ship somewhat, and amassed his first Test 50 with a sublime six over mid-on.

But Hamza's resistance was ended when, one delivery after he survived an India review, the 24-year-old was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja.

Bavuma followed in the next over and, after Heinrich Klaasen (6) went before lunch, South Africa collapsed after the restart, losing four wickets for 33 runs.

India were swiftly back on the wicket trail after enforcing the follow on - Yadav sending Quinton de Kock's (5) off-stump tumbling while Shami dismissed Hamza (0), Du Plessis (4) and Bavuma (0) in quick succession.

Elgar was forced to retire hurt after he was clattered on the helmet by Yadav and, though his replacement De Bruyn held firm, the Proteas could not stem the flow of wickets - Dane Piedt (23) and Kagiso Rabada (12) offering nothing more than short-lived cameos.

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    Smith averaged an astonishing 110.57 in a drawn Ashes series in England on his return to the Test stage after serving a one-year ban for his part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

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    The Pakistan head coach said: "As far as Steve Smith goes, there's a blind spot for every top batsman in the world; as a bowler you're always interested in pitching the ball there.

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    "You have to be very, very disciplined, just keep the ball there, and if it's happening you are already in the game."

    The former Pakistan captain added:  "The kind of form he is in, there's no doubt Steve Smith is a batting genius. We will try our best to execute our plans and dismiss him."

     

    Key Opta facts

    - Pakistan have lost their last two multi-game bilateral Test series, they have not lost more consecutive series in the format since losing all three they competed in across 2007.

    - Pat Cummins' tally of 87 Test wickets is more than any other bowler has taken since the start of 2018.

    -  Australia are undefeated in their last 30 Tests at the Gabba - winning 23 of those matches. Their last defeat at the Brisbane venue was against West Indies in 1988.

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    I played with him in the Caribbean league at Barbados. I think he's going to be an exceptional player in white-ball cricket."

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