India wins series

The Indian team poses with the winners trophy after India registered an emphatic victory over South Africa by an innings and 202 runs in the third and final Test Match at the JSCA Stadium in Ranchi on Oct. 22. (IANS photo)

RANCHI — India took just nine minutes on day four to wrap up the third and final test against South Africa and complete a first-ever 3-0 series whitewash over the Proteas with an innings and 202-run victory Oct. 22.

Resuming at 132-8 in its second innings, South Africa added one run off 10 balls before debutant Shahbaz Nadeem took the final two wickets off consecutive deliveries to give India a record victory over South Africa.

In the second over of the day, Nadeem (2-18) had concussion substitute batsman Theunis de Bruyn (30) caught behind. Next ball, he caught Lungi Ngidi in a bizarre fashion as the ball ricocheted off the non-striker Anrich Nortje.

Umesh Yadav finished with 3-40, while Mohammed Shami (2-22) and Ravindra Jadeja (2-19) picked up a brace each.

“The whole team had (an) amazing mind set throughout,” said Indian skipper Virat Kohli. “It has been a brilliant series for us. To be the best side in the world, you need to be multi-dimensional. ”

“Spin was always an asset for us and batting was never a problem. Fast bowling was very good and we held our catches well. It’s great to operate in such a manner.”

India scored 497-9d in their first innings, on the back of Rohit Sharma’s 212, his maiden test double hundred, and Ajinkya Rahane’s century as part of a record 267-run fourth-wicket partnership.

Sharma finished with 529 runs in the series, with three hundreds. It was the highest aggregate for an Indian batsman against South Africa in a test series.

“I would like to thank the team management for the opportunity (to open),” said Sharma, who was named man of the match and series. “You need discipline to face the new ball. It is a threat anywhere in the world.

“Once I was in, I could play my game and that’s what I have done. Getting the big scores will give me confidence moving forward.”

South Africa was then bowled out for 162 runs with India, for the second consecutive test, enforcing the follow-on.

The tourists slim hopes of salvaging anything from this series were effectively dashed as India’s seamers again dismantled its batting order to have the Proteas at 132-8 when bad light stopped play Monday.

It was South Africa’s joint third-biggest innings’ defeat in test cricket, and second consecutive loss by more than an innings. The last time South Africa lost two consecutive tests by an innings margin was against Australia in 1935-36.

“Be it in batting, bowling or even fielding, we were dominated across the series,” said Proteas’ skipper Faf du Plessis. “The mindset was to be prepared for the spin attack. But the pitches were fantastic and India’s seamers were outstanding throughout the series.”

India won the first test in Visakhapatnam by 203 runs, before victory by an innings and 167 runs in the second test in Pune gave it an insurmountable 2-0 lead in the series.

India continued their dominant run as the world’s number one test side and has now picked up full points from each of their five matches in the world test championship. They are top of the table with 240 points.

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