Team India start 2018 on losing note, go down in first Test against South Africa by 72 runs

South Africa bowled out India for 135 in their second innings, registering a 72-run victory in the first Test at Cape Town

Virat Kohli-led Team India started 2018 season on a disappointing note after they lost the first Test match against South Africa in Cape Town on January 8. With this victory, hosts are now leading the three-match Test series 1-0.

Chasing a target of 208 runs to win, Team India suffered a major batting collapse as they  were bowled out for just 135 runs in their second innings. For India, Ravichandran Ashwin was the top scorer with 37.

For South Africa, Vernon Philander was the pick of the bowler as he returned with bowling figures of 6 for 42.

Earlier, resuming from Day 2’s total of 65/2 as the third day’s play was completely washed out, the hosts failed to get going and could only manage to add 65 runs before losing the eight wickets in the first session.

Former skipper AB de Villiers (35) was the lone batsman offering some kind of resistance as Indian pacers led by Mohammed Shami (3/28) and Jasprit Bumrah (3/39) took full advantage of the bowling-friendly conditions.

In reply, Team India started their run chase on a poor note as they lost opener Shikhar Dhawan early. Dhawan walked back to the pavilion after scoring just 16 runs. He was caught at gully by substitute fielder Chris Morris off Morne Morkel’s delivery.

Vijay followed next as he departed while trying to defend an outswinger from Philander, only to manage an edge to de Villiers who completed the catch at third slip.

Morkel then came back to reduce India to 39/3 after no.3 batsman Cheteshwar Pujara (4) nicked an almost unplayable length delivery back to the wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

Thereafter, Kohli and Rohit joined forces to steer India’s ship.

Kohli looked good during his 40-ball stay in the middle, striking four boundaries before Philander’s inswinger caught him plumb in line with middle.

In his very next over, the pacer jolted India with the wicket of Sharma, who dragged a good length delivery on to his stumps.

Reduced to 76/5, India once again hoped for another Pandya show, similar to his 93 in the first essay, but a brilliant catch by de Villiers off Rabada proved fatal for the all-rounder.

Tailenders Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravichandran Ashwin showed some class with the bat, but they failed to provide victory to their side.

Vernon Philander who finished with impressive figures of 6/42 awarded the man of the match.