About the Match
The two nations scripted the most exciting Test match in recent history as they fought tooth and nail to swing the result in their favour; however, the 1st Test match was drawn after a nail-biting post-tea session. India had set a huge target of 458 runs for its opponent and South Africa came close to a historic win but fell 8 runs short of chasing the highest total in Test cricket. Though it was a disappointing draw for both sides, the teams are looking forward to fight it out in the 2nd and last Test of the series that starts on Thursday.
The 2nd innings saw a spirited effort from Faf du Plessis who scored a brilliant 134 runs to take the team closer to a probable win in the 1st test match; in the company of AB de Villiers, who posted 103 runs off 168 deliveries, Plessis showed class and sheer determination to turn the match in their favour however, his run-out towards the end changed the course and the team was happy to draw the match in the face of a renewed bowling attack from India. Plessis and Villiers posted a 205-run partnership for the 5th wicket and South Africa looked comfortable to make cricketing history however, after their dismissal the lower order struggled and gave up their hopes of a win, settling for a draw. Earlier, Smith and Petersen started off well by posting 108 runs and bowlers Philander took 7 wickets in total, Kallis took 3 wickets and Morkel took 4 wickets; it was a brave and focused effort by the team and they will look to better this performance in the 2nd Test.
Kohli once again steered the team to a decent total of 280 runs by scoring 119 runs off 181 deliveries in the 1st innings with Rahane providing good support towards the end. In the 2nd innings, though Kohli fell short of his century by 4 runs, Pujara stole the show by posting a brilliant 153 runs that saw 21 boundaries and took the target to 458 runs that set them at a comfortable position. It took great efforts by the bowling unit to dismiss the Proteans who had set their eyes towards a draw and played defensively throughout. However, Shami struck early to take 3 wickets, Ishant’s brilliant dismissal of Villiers at the end and 2 superb run-outs by Rahane brought India closer to a win but the South Africans didn’t let that happen and the match resulted in a draw. In the 1st innings, Zaheer and Ishant took 4 wickets each and Shami took 2 crucial wickets to demolish the oppoent’s batting line-up. Team India now has the belief to win the 2nd Test and will be eager to give a much better performance to take home the title.
It took some time for the Indians to settle down to these conditions and the 1st test saw greater results from the team; South Africa on the other hand will be eager to sharpen their skills in the upcoming match. Though the home team will bounce back with renewed energy to improve their attack, the Indians are looking confident to win the test series and avenge their ODI defeat.
India, 6.50 @ Bet365