R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav Decimate South Africa to Clinch 3-0 Series Win
Ravichandran Ashwin picked up his 16th five-wicket haul and Umesh Yadav cleaned up the tail as India overcame a dogged vigil from South Africa to thrash them by 337 runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla. India clinched the series 3-0 to jump to No. 2 in the Test rankings.
South Africa resumed the final day on 72/2 with AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla determined to grind the Indian bowlers to the ground. Both batsmen were content on blocking the bowlers and eating up valuable time. The partnership was worth only 25 but they had gobbled up over 250 balls. (All photos courtesy BCCI)
India started off the final day knowing that South Africa would engage in a blockathon. Before taking the second new ball, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara bowled some overs as they worked hard to break the Amla-de Villiers stand.
However, Ravindra Jadeja snapped the dour partnership when he bowled Amla for 25 with a delivery that straightened. India had finally found the opening but there was still plenty of work to be done.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli continued to attack with close in fielders. Silly point, leg slip, short leg, two slips were the feature of the day as India applied pressure.
Faf du Plessis, who had made an epic, unbeaten 110 on his Test debut against Australia in Adelaide in 2012 to help South Africa draw the match, batted in similar vein along with de Villiers.
Before the lunch break, de Villiers was struck on the gloves by deliveries from Umesh Yadav that leapt from a fullish length. De Villiers needed medical attention but South Africa had hung on for survival during the lunch break.
However, after the lunch break, Jadeja, who had bowled 17 consecutive maiden overs in the day, struck when he removed du Plessis for 10 with an arm ball that just went through straight. India had found another opening but de Villiers was fighting a lone hand.
JP Duminy's poor Test series ended when Ashwin trapped him plumb in front for 0 as India came closer to sealing a series victory.
Jadeja continued to create chances and with every over, one sensed that a wicket was not too far away.
Dane Vilas and AB de Villiers held on until Tea. However, in the final session, Vilas was sent back for 13 by Umesh Yadav while de Villiers' epic 297-ball vigil ended when he was dismissed by Ashwin for 43.
Umesh Yadav proceeded to clean up the tail as India bowled the Proteas out for 143 to clinch a 337-run win at the Kotla.
Virat Kohli's men achieved a 3-0 series win over South Africa, thus propelling them to No.2 in the Test rankings. This series margin was India's best ever against South Africa in Tests.
Ravichandran Ashwin finished with 31 wickets, including four five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket haul as India totally dominated the South Africans.
This was Kohli's first series as captain in India and he completed a memorable outing in his home ground by securing India's first series win over South Africa after 11 years.