CENTURION: The growing legend of the wicked Indian wrist-spin once again sat on its bedevilling broom and flew past the SuperSport Park here at the Centurion on Sunday morning. In no time, it made the psyched out South Africans fall prey to a spell that’s bound to leave them haunted for a while to come.
Spectators – both South African and Indian – arrived at the leisurely grassbanks here in the morning, their sandwiches and drinks neatly packed, hoping for a delightful Sunday.
Nevertheless, it was a Sunday that ended up ruining many an afternoon plan. The match got over minutes after lunch with South Africa registering their lowest ever One-Day International total at home and the eighth lowest overall – 118 all out in 32.2 overs – and India chasing the target with 29.3 overs and nine wickets to spare. It was India’s biggest win over the hosts in terms of the number of balls remaining – 177 – spelling out very clearly how rankled the World’s No. 1 team can get against spin.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, the sorcerers on the broom stick, shared eight wickets between them after South Africa lost the toss and were put in to bat first. In the absence of Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers, the 23-year-old Aiden Markram led the home team only to be found exposed against the Indian spin duo.
South Africa did not lose a wicket until the 10th over when opener Hashim Amlanicked one to MS Dhoni, called for a review that wasn’t, and left. In the 11th over, Virat Kohli introduced Chahal from one end, followed by Kuldeep Yadav in the 12th. That one change in the attack began to spell the necessary doom for the home team.
By the time South Africa registered the next 12 runs on board, Quinton de Kock, Markram and David Miller were all back in the pavilion and barring what JP Duminy, Khaya Zondo and Chris Morris managed to put together on the board – 64 runs between them – the rest of the line-up simply walked in and walked out. South Africa lost six wickets within six overs when they managed to put merely 18 runs on board.
It was submission at its worst from the hosts, clearly left embattled after the loss of two of their most prominent batsmen. Ill-timed strokes, coupled with lack of patience and little understanding of how to get under the ball that made them wait for eternity on a very sluggish track didn’t help.