PRETORIA :South Africa shredded through the Indian batting line-up to claim victory by an innings and 32 runs in the first test on Thursday, securing the win inside three days and ensuring their proud home record against the tourists stays intact.
The home attack defeated India for 131 in their second innings after South Africa had earlier scored 408 for a 163-run first innings lead at Centurion
Only Virat Kohli offered any resistance in an alarming collapse as debutant Nandre Burger took four wickets, Marco Jansen three and Kagiso Rabada two.
With only two tests being played, South Africa cannot lose the series and stay the only country where India have yet to win an away series.
It was a devastating bowling effort, from the first ball of India’s second innings where South Africa could have had a wicket had Aiden Markram, at second slip, not dropped an edge from Yashasvi Jaiswal off Rabada.
But in his next over the fiery paceman bowled India’s captain Rohit Sharma and Jaiswal then gloved a searing delivery from Burger to leave for five.
Shubman Gill led a short fightback for his beleaguered team as he scored 26 runs off 37 balls. He was bowled by Jansen to leave India reeling at 62-3 at tea.
But while Kohli proved a rock, wickets continued to fall at the start of the last session with Shreyas Iyer castled by Jansen (6) and then Burger taking two wickets in as many balls. KL Rahul, who made a century in the first innings, went cheaply for four as he edged to Markram and Ravichandran Ashwin was caught next ball as hit the ball to gully.
David Bedingham then took a second catch at gully as Shardul Thakur (2) became Rabada’s seventh wicket of the test before Jasprit Bumrah was run out without scoring.
A slight brush on the thumb of his glove saw Mohammed Siraj go next after South Africa had reviewed and Kohli was the last out for 76 runs off 82 balls, brilliantly caught in the deep by a diving Rabada in a fitting end to an exciting match.
South Africa had started the day with an 11-run lead on 256-6, with Dean Elgar moving from 140 to 185 before he was dismissed 30 minutes before lunch.
He and Marco Jansen put on 111-run partnership for the sixth wicket, as the pair started the day with positive purpose and then fended off some intimidating bowling when India took the second new ball. Jansen was 84 not out, his best test score.
The second test will be at Newlands in Cape Town from Jan. 3-7.