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Siraj sizzles with six wickets as India bowl out South Africa for 55- The Uncut

By PTI

CAPE TOWN: Mohammed Siraj produced a spell to remember as India bundled out South Africa for 55, their lowest total against the visitors, inside lunch on day one of the second Test here on Wednesday.

In a straight spell of nine overs, Siraj picked a career-best 6 for 15 as the South African batters made a beeline back to the dug-out, unable to counter the disconcerting bounce and the movement, both inward and outward, that he extracted off the surface.

It was South Africa’s lowest total in Test cricket since their readmission into international cricket in 1991.

Before Siraj’s special effort, the only Indian in country’s 92 year Test history to take five wickets before lunch was left-arm spinner Maninder Singh, who achieved the feat against Pakistan in Bengaluru back in 1986-1987.

On a humid Wednesday morning, South African batters found what a great leveller the game of cricket is with Siraj ripping the heart out of the Proteas batting with a masterclass of pace, swing and seam movement.

The Proteas innings ended in just 23.2 overs.

David Bedingham (12) and Kyle Verreynne (15) were the only two batters to hit the double digits as the South African supporters in stands were stunned into silence.

Jasprit Bumrah (2/25 in 8 overs) also kept the pressure from the other end as Indian skipper Rohit Sharma kept his promise of making opposite number Dean Elgar’s life miserable in his farewell Test.

Mukesh Kumar (2/0) also wrapped the tail up and proved that he is way better than a bits and pieces Shardul Thakur in these conditions.

Having been pilloried for conceding 400 plus runs in the heavy defeat at the Centurion, even the biggest of Indian supporters wouldn’t have envisaged such a roaring comeback from the bowlers.

Siraj kept the ball on fuller lengths between 4-6 metres and with bounce got most balls to jag back in.

From the other end, Bumrah hit the back of length area as Rohit set completely attacking fields, albeit of different nature.

When Siraj bowled initially, there was a leg-slip placed while for Bumrah, Rohit himself stood at short leg.

The procession started with Aiden Markram going on a ‘fishing expedition’ to a delivery that moved in air and shaped away with the opener closing his bat face.

Yashasvi Jaiswal took a fantastic catch at third slip to send back Markram.

The stodgy Elgar played one to his stumps off Siraj who angled one across on fuller length, not giving him enough room to play the cut shot.

Bumrah got young Tristan Stubbs into a tangle and the simple catch was gobbled up by skipper at short-leg.

Tony De Zorzi’s affinity to whip balls off the hips was exploited as he was caught down the leg-side.

Unlike Centurion, there were plans in place and David Bedingham, who was fed on the backfoot in the first Test, was enticed to go for a drive on length and extra bounce did the trick.

Once Marco Jansen edged Siraj to give him his fifth scalp, one knew that South Africa would have one of their most embarrassing mornings since return to international cricket in 1991.

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