2nd Test: India sensationally lose last six wickets for no runs, bowled out for 153, lead by 98 runs

India suffered an outrageous batting implosion by losing their last six wickets for no runs to be bowled out for 153 in 34.5 overs in their first innings, with their lead at a sizeable 98 runs in the first Test against South Africa at the Newlands Cricket Ground on Wednesday

India suffered an outrageous batting implosion by losing their last six wickets for no runs to be bowled out for 153 in 34.5 overs in their first innings, with their lead at a sizeable 98 runs in the first Test against South Africa at the Newlands Cricket Ground on Wednesday

In the mid of second session, India were 153/4 with a lead of 98, with Virat Kohli pulling and driving off Kagiso Rabada to pick boundaries with aplomb. Lungi Ngidi, who looked off-colour and conceded 30 runs from five overs, changed the course of the game with a three-wicket maiden over, and waking up the Cape Town crowd from sleep.

He used steep bounce to have KL Rahul upper-cut to the hands of keeper Kyle Verreynne, take the glove edge on Ravindra Jadeja’s attempted fend to the leg-side for gully to catch it and force Jasprit Bumrah to lob a catch to gully.

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Kohli watched the Ngidi carnage from the non-striker’s end and on the second ball of the next over, he went for a drive with hard hands, only for the second slip to catch the outside edge. Mohammed Siraj, who took 6-15 in the morning session to bowl out South Africa for just 55, was run-out two balls later, and Rabada wrapped up the innings immediately by having Prasidh Krishna caught at slip.

Ngidi, Rabada and Nandre Burger ended with three wickets each on a pitch which still offers steep bounce and seam movement. India’s sensational implosion is also the first ever instance of six wickets falling on the same score in a Test match, as 20 wickets fell inside two sessions of day one of Cape Town Test.

Earlier, Rohit Sharma set the tone by striking an off-colour Ngidi for three boundaries, as the pacer conceded 13 runs in his opening over. But Yashasvi Jaiswal fell without scoring, chopping on to his stumps off Rabada for a seven-ball duck.

With Ngidi and Burger dishing out half-vollies frequently, Rohit and Shubman Gill brought out delightful strokeplay on both sides of the wicket. Rohit survived two lbw appeals on nip-backers off Rabada and Marco Jansen, before being squared up by extra bounce from Burger.

The Indian skipper looked to defend off him, but the outside edge came off shoulder of the bat and was caught by gully, with Rohit departing for 39 off 50 balls. Kohli had a huge stroke of luck on nought when the outside flew between slips and gully for four.

While Kohli punched and drove on half-vollies, Gill brought out his famed short-arm jab for picking boundaries. But Burger bounced back as Gill poked away from his body and gave a catch to gully moving to his left.

With rhythm found, Burger had another wicket by squaring up Shreyas Iyer and he nicked behind to Verreynne for duck. Post tea, Kohli and Rahul kept the scoreboard ticking with runs, but the latter’s fall saw floodgates being opened for South Africa to make rest of Indian batting line-up fall like a pack of cards.

Brief Scores: South Africa 55 in 23.2 overs (Kyle Verreynne 15; Mohammed Siraj 6-15) trail India 153 in 34.5 overs (Virat Kohli 46, Rohit Sharma 39; Lungi Ngidi 3-30, Kagiso Rabada 3-38) by 98 runs

(IANS)