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Jadeja demolishes SA after Rahane ton

Ravindra Jadeja plotted South Africa’s downfall with a five-wicket haul after Ajinkya Rahane’s brilliant century as India gained complete control of the fourth cricket Test by taking a commanding 213-run lead on the second day here on Friday.

Jadeja produced a mesmerising spell of 5/30 to skittle out the hapless visitors for a paltry 121 in 49.3 overs on a sporting Feroz Shah Kotla track.

The Proteas did not even bat two full sessions falling 14 runs short of saving the follow-on score of 135 after Rahane’s 127 helped India post a decent 334 in their first innings. The Indians, however, decided not to impose the follow on.

While left-arm spinner Jadeja accounted for bulk of the spoils with pin-point accuracy, it was a magical delivery by pacer Umesh Yadav (2/32) and Ishant Sharma’s (1/28) sharp bowling that remained the highlight of the final two sessions.

Ravichandran Ashwin (2/26) also increased his series wickets tally to 26 after helping himself to a half-century with the bat.

With a far better pitch on offer, it seemed that South African batsmen had lost the battle in their heads even before they came out to face the Indian quartet on the 22 yards.

It was a combination of disciplined bowling and some reckless batting that led to South Africa’s downfall.

Once again, AB de Villiers fought a lone battle scoring 42 and was the 9th batsman to be dismissed when Ishant took a well judged catch at the long-off boundary.

With three full days left in the game, India were firmly in the driver’s seat to record a historic 3-0 win over South Africa.

Comeback-man Yadav drew first blood by removing Dean Elgar (17), who was caught by Wriddhiman Saha trying to steer a fuller delivery.

In the post tea session, it was Jadeja, who got into the act with his accurate length bowling.

Opener Temba Bavuma (22), who replaced an out of form Stiaan van Zyl, was bowled by an arm ball that kept low.

Hashim Amla’s (1) horrible series continued as he tried to play square cut when a Jadeja delivery was too close for comfort. The result was a nick snapped up by Saha behind the stumps.

From 56/3, it soon became 62 for four when Faf du Plessis (0) tried to play a lap shot only to find Rahane run back from his first slip position to take a simple catch at backward short leg.

What made the knock even more special is the fact that this is the ground where he made an inauspicious Test debut failing (7 & 1) in both innings. Rahane’s moment of glory came with a well-placed straight drive off Kyle Abbott, prompting the entire Indian dressing room to give him a standing ovation. The 100 came off 180 balls which included 10 well-timed boundaries and two sixes. However, the count of maximums doubled once he reached his ton. He hit off-spinner Dean Elgar for successive sixes.

The first was an angled delivery which Rahane danced down the track to hit wide of long on. The next also met with identical fate but it was over long-off.

The only blemish was when on 101, Rahane tried playing a forward defensive stroke and the edge was dropped by wicketkeeper Dane Vilas much to the frustration of the left- arm spinner Dean Elgar.
Rahane’s dismissal was a soft one when Imran Tahir bowled a fullish delivery which the batsman hit straight at AB de Villiers standing at covers.

Proteas coach heaps praise on Indian bowlers
South Africa coach Russell Domingo praised the Indian bowlers after a disappointing performance by his batsmen in the first innings of the fourth and final Test against India at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Friday.

The visitors struggled on a pitch that is slowly beginning to offer some extra turn to the spinners. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja made good use of the conditions to claim five wickets. The Proteas were bundled out for a meagre total of 121 runs in reply to India’s first innings total of 334.

There was some movement on offer for the fast bowlers as well, with Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma producing an excellent display of pace bowling. Although some of the South African dismissals were due to genuinely good deliveries, several of their batsmen virtually gifted away their wickets with poorly executed shots. “There were a few dismissals that could be deemed as soft. But some of them were due to very good bowling. The dismissals of Bavuma and Vilas, for example. There was some very good bowling by the Indian spinners, in particular,” said Domingo.
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