Bhuvneshwar 4-for helps India bowl SA for 286
Cape Town: Paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar scalped four wickets to help India bundle South Africa out for 286 shortly after tea on Day 1 of their opening Test at Newlands here on Friday.
Resuming the final session at 230/7, the South African lower middle order comprising Keshav Maharaj (35) and Kagiso Rabada (26) offered stiff resistance until off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin effected the run-out of Maharaj to end his 47-ball vigil at the crease.
Ashwin then packed back Rabada whose resolute 66-ball 26 was studded with a sixer (280/9).
The Chennai tweaker struck once again to dismiss tailender Morne Morkel (2) while Dale Steyn remained unbeaten on 16 as the South African innings folded for 286.
Earlier, Bhuvneshwar (4/87) ripped through the top order, taking the vital wickets of openers Dean Elgar (0) and Aiden Markram (5), and then Hashim Amla (3). He also accounted for the wicket of dangerman Quinton de Kock (43). For the Proteas, former captain Ab de Villiers (65) and skipper Faf du Plessis (62) got to their respective half centuries.
Debutant Jasprit Bumrah (1/60 in 13 overs) and young Hardik Pandya (1/37 in 9 overs) removed the dangerous pair of AB de Villiers (65) and skipper Faf du Plessis (62) in quick succession after their whirlwind 114-run stand to give the visitors an upperhand after the second session.
The dangerous Quinton de Kock (43) was removed by Bhuvneshwar (4/68 in 14 overs) and the Proteas looked uncomfortable despite maintaining a healthy run-rate of 4.33 across the 53 overs that has been bowled over two sessions.
Keshav Maharaj was unbeaten on 23 runs alongside Kagiso Rabada (0 not out) at the break. Post lunch, De Villiers and Du Plessis brought up their 100-partnership for the fourth wicket off 134 balls.
Bumrah got his maiden scalp in De Villiers as he angled one in which breached the defence of the former skipper after taking an inside edge of his bat. Three overs later, Pandya made it a double breakthrough as Du Plessis was caught behind. It was payback for the all-rounder, who had trapped the batsman lbw off the previous delivery, only for DRS to overturn the decision on umpire's call.
In between, Du Plessis had completed his 16th Test half- century off 98 balls.
De Kock and Vernon Philander (23) continued with the attacking mode and put on 60 runs off only 54 balls for the sixth wicket. In doing so, they helped South Africa cross 200 in the 45th over. Bhuvneshwar returned for his third spell and immediately struck again getting De Kock caught behind.
Before tea, Mohammed Shami (1-43) bowled Philander with a delivery that reversed.
The hosts could have lost another wicket but Shikhar Dhawan dropped Keshav Maharaj (on 0 then) at third slip in the 47th over of what could have been Bhuvneshwar's fifth scalp. Bhuvneshwar got India off to a rollicking start as he took three wickets in his first three overs.
He had Dean Elgar (0) caught behind off the third ball of the match. An over later, he trapped Aiden Markram (5) lbw with a sharp inswinger.
The ever-dependable Hashim Amla (3) too was caught behind off the Meerut speedster as his first spell figures read 3-1- 5-3.
De Villiers then led South Africa's recovery as the duo batted out the remainder of the challenging first hour. They looked to counter attack the bowling with the former taking 17 runs off one Bhuvneshwar over. In doing so, they brought up the 50-partnership for the 4th wicket off only 63 balls.
Brief scores: South Africa 286 (Ab de Villiers 65, Faf du Plessis 62, Quinton de Kock 43; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4/87) vs India.