Cricket-Siraj skittles South Africa as India lead at Newlands

Cricket – Second Test – South Africa v India – Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town, South Africa – January 3, 2024 South Africa’s Dean Elgar in action REUTERS/Esa Alexander

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) -Seamer Mohammed Siraj took a career-best 6-15 as India skittled hosts South Africa for 55 inside a session on day one of the second and final test at Newlands, before reaching 111 for four at tea in their reply on Wednesday.

Led by the superb Siraj, India’s seamers found the right line and length from the start as they ran through the home team’s batting line-up in 23.2 overs for South Africa’s lowest test total since 1932 after they had elected to bat.

Virat Kohli (20 not out) and KL Rahul (0 not out) will look to build the tourists’ advantage in the final session.

India passed South Africa’s meagre score in 9.4 overs, the earliest a team has taken a first innings lead in men’s tests since 2001, beating 11.2 overs by South Africa against Zimbabwe in 2005 and versus New Zealand in 2013, both at Newlands.

India’s seamers were able to get movement off the wicket, but there was also variable bounce at a venue where there has been some low scores. New Zealand were bowled out for 45 in 2013 and Australia for 47 in 2011.

Cricket – Second Test – South Africa v India – Newlands Cricket Ground, Cape Town, South Africa – January 3, 2024 India’s Mohammed Siraj celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of South Africa’s Aiden Markram, caught out by Yashasvi Jaiswal REUTERS/Esa Alexander

South Africa’s previous lowest innings total against India in tests was 79 at Nagpur in 2015. At home it was 130 at the same Newlands venue in 2018.

The hosts have provided some fight with the ball. Rabada removed opener Yashasvi Jaiswal (0) early, before Nandre Burger (3-42) had Rohit Sharma (39) and Shubman Gill (36) caught by Marco Jansen in the gully, and Shreyas Iyer (0) by wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne.

When South Africa captain Dean Elgar won the toss he said it was an “interesting wicket with a few snakes in it”, but there was also poor shot selection from the hosts.

Siraj was impeccable with his line outside off-stump as he drew several batters into errors with enough movement to claim the edge – backed up by superb catching behind the stumps.

Jasprit Bumrah (2-25) had debutant Tristan Stubbs (3) caught at short leg, before South Africa were 15-4 when Tony de Zorzi (2) was caught by wicketkeeper KL Rahul with a strangle down the legside off Siraj.

David Bedingham (12) looked the one batter who was composed at the wicket before he misjudged a Siraj delivery that leapt off the surface and he was grabbed at slip by Jaiswal.

From then it was a procession as the lower order tried to hit their way out of trouble but were undone by the impeccable line of the Indian seamers.

South Africa won the first test in Pretoria by an innings and 32 runs.



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