Sports: Rahane, Jadeja put India on top in test against South Africa
Spinner Ravindra Jadeja ripped through South Africa’s batting line-up after Ajinkya Rahane hit the first century of the series as India piled on the misery for the visitors in the fourth and final Test on Friday.
Jadeja picked up five wickets for 30 runs as India bowled out the tourists for 121 off 49.3 overs in New Delhi. AB de Villiers was the only batsman to offer much resistance, making 42 off 78 balls.
The top-ranked visitors, who have already lost the series, trail by 213 runs but their hosts have decided not to enforce the follow-on.
“We haven’t played good cricket in the last couple of weeks, so no excuses,” South Africa coach Russell Domingo said.
“There was some very good bowling from the Indian side, especially from the spinners. They deserve a lot of credit for bowling so well and we have to take responsibility for some soft dismissals.”
Left-armer Jadeja recorded his fourth five-wicket haul in Tests to tighten the screw on the Proteas.
Paceman Umesh Yadav (2-32) gave India the initial breakthrough by having opener Dean Elgar caught behind for 17 before uprooting the off-stump of J.P. Duminy for his 50th Test wicket.
Amla scored just three runs from 34 balls, another failure during a miserable tour for the skipper.
Jadeja grabbed three more wickets in fading light, much to the delight of a sizeable crowd in the Indian capital.
Ravichandran Ashwin (2-26) and Ishant Sharma (1-28) also joined the party, helping India end the day on a high.
The hosts were bowled out for 334 five overs into the post-lunch session with recalled paceman Kyle Abbott taking two wickets in three balls to send back Ashwin (56) and Sharma (0).
‘Shot-making not easy’
After resuming at their overnight score of 231-7, India added 103 runs while losing three wickets, including that of Rahane (127).
Rahane, 27, reached his fifth Test century and his first on home soil with a classic straight drive off Abbott.
The stylish right-hander, on 89 overnight, raised his arms in celebration before waving his bat towards cheering fans.
“I was very determined. I knew I was batting really well in the series and I just needed to spend some time in the middle,” said Rahane.
“Shot-making was not easy but once you were set it was difficult for the bowlers to get the batsman out.”
No batsman had previously reached three figures in a low-scoring series which India have sealed already after winning the first and third Tests.
Rahane thrived on the Feroz Shah Kotla track, which seemed to have evened out after offering inconsistent bounce and turn to bowlers on the opening day.
His fine innings came to an end when he handed a straightforward catch to de Villiers in the covers off leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
His 127 runs came off 215 balls and was studded with 11 fours and four sixes.
Rahane exhibited crackling form in the first session, lofting off-spinner Dane Piedt for two sixes in three balls, including one that sailed over the long-off fence.
He also shared a 98-run stand with Ashwin, helping India steady the boat after they were struggling at 139-6.
Ashwin, the leading wicket-taker of the series with 26 scalps, showed his skill with the bat as well, reaching his sixth Test half-century with a six off Tahir.