Ravindra Jadeja may have failed with the bat a day earlier, but on Day 4 on Sunday, he claimed his second fifer in only six Tests to dent South Africa's 1st innings chase against India. His best figures of 5/58 came against Australia earlier this year in New Delhi.
Jadeja - an all-rounder whose spin bowling has helped his team more than his batting in the recent past - broke solid partnerships with nagging persistence on Day 3 of the Durban Test. Brought into the attack early on, skipper MS Dhoni made the 25-year-old bowl long spells in an effort which was repeatedly rewarded. His first victim Graeme Smith, for instance, charged down the track but clearly mis-judged the turn as he skied the ball to Shikhar Dhawan, who took good catch in the deep. (Live updates)
Jadeja's next two victims - with a combined Test experience of 167 matches - also failed to negotiate the turn. While Alviro Petersen was duped by a delivery that, both, spun and bounced enough to kiss his bat's upper edge and carry to first slip, a well-set AB de Villiers (74) was outfoxed by a ball that turned inwards from his left leg, resulting in a similar dismissal to Petersen's. JP Duminy on the other hand, overestimated the spin and was trapped LBW by a ball with dart-like trajectory.
Rain and the subsequent halt in play brought an early end to Day 3, leaving Jadeja on four wickets. After the day's play on Saturday he said that it would be his dream to dismiss his 'idol' Kallis and he did just that on Sunday. Kallis -- who reached 115 in his final Test -- top-edged Jadeja to Dhoni. At that stage in 52 overs Jadeja had figures of five for 124.
The all-rounder replaced R Ashwin - who went wicket-less in the first Test at Johannesburg - in the side. His batting in Tests may not have been much to write about - 97 from six innings in five Tests with a duck in the ongoing match- but his bowling performance has been a completely contrasting tale - 32 wickets in six innings. In his best effort, Jadeja destroyed Australia's top-order in the second innings of the Delhi Test in March this year. After claiming two in the first innings, he came back to pick five more as the visitors crumbled to 164. Jadeja, then, dismissed Morne Morkel to pick his sixth wicket and bring an end to the South African innings on 500.
While the Saurashtra player is currently the 33rd best all-rounder and 26th best bowler in Tests, he is likely to make a big jump after this effort.