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India Square off Series, Come out Winner in Shortest-ever Match in History of Test Cricket

India Square off Series, Come out Winner in Shortest-ever Match in History of Test Cricket

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, Jan 4: It was not only a sweet revenge that India took on the South Africa by drawing the two-match test series, the Team India also created a record of sorts by coming out the winner in the shortest ever test match, in terms of the number of balls bowled in the 147 years history of test cricket. It was also India’s first victory in a test match in Cape Town.

The buildup to the India vs South Africa second Test in Cape Town was all about the capitulation of the visitors in the first Test. After a whopping loss by an innings and 32 runs in Centurion, the odds were stacked against the Rohit Sharma-led Indian cricket team. However, it did not take long for the Indian cricket team to dish out a cold revenge – only 107 overs to be precise. In less than five sessions, India won the match by seven wickets and drew the two-match series 1-1, their first in South Africa in 13 years.

With that it is now the shortest Test ever (in terms of number of balls bowled) in 147 years of the format’s history which delivered a result. Before this, the shortest Test with a result was played between Australia and South Africa in 1932 in Melbourne. That match saw only 109.2 overs (656 balls) with Australia winning the match. The second Test between India and South Africa saw only 107 overs (642 balls).

While 23 wickets tumbled on the opening day of the test on Wednesday, 10 wickets fell on the second day that lasted for just one and half session leaving India victorious by seven wickets. Having being skittle out for just 55 runs in the first innings and India bowled out for 153 taking a lead of 98 runs, South Africa began the second day with 36 runs still in the arrears with seven second innings wickets in hand.

South Africa’s opener Aiden Markam, who was unbeaten overnight, went on to score a century as he saw wickets tumbling at the other end. India managed to bowl out South Africa by the stroke of lunch on the second day with Jasprit Bumrah capturing six wickets in the inning. After lunch, India took just 12 overs while losing three wickets to score of the required 79 runs to win the test and creating history at Cape Town and drawing the series 1-1 for the second time after 13 years. In the current South Africa tour which ended with the second test, India managed to stay undefeated in any of the formats. India had drawn the three-match T20 series 1-1 with the first match washed out and had won the 50-over ODI 2-1 before starting the test series.

Sensing that he could soon run out of partners once David Bedingham (11) edged one behind the stumps and Kyle Verreynne misjudged the length while going for an unnecessary pull-shot, Markram started attacking the inexperienced Mukesh Kumar (2/56 in 10 overs) and Prasidh Krishna (1/27 in 4 overs), who has been the weakest link in India’s pace attack in his debut series. With Indian skipper Rohit Sharma rightly setting an attacking field, Markram, found it easy to muscle the balls through the gaps as he hit 17 fours and two mighty sixes off Prasidh taking 20 runs from his second over.

In the morning, a vintage Bumrah was in full bloom on a tailor-made surface. Starting at 62 for three, South Africa quickly lost their middle-order to be 111 for 7 before Markram took charge in a 51-run stand with Rabada where he launched into every Indian bowler. It finally took first innings hero Mohammed Siraj (1/31) to induce a mistimed heave from Markram, ensuring the lead didn’t cross the 100-run mark.

It was a match that belonged to Indian pacers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah, who picked 15 wickets among themselves. In the first innings, Siraj picked 6 for 15 while Bumrah scalped two wickets. In the following innings of South Africa, Bumrah returned figures of 6 for 61 while Siraj also picked one wicket.

The victory improved India’s position in the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023-25 points table while it saw the Proteas slip from the top spot. The Rohit Sharma-led side is now at the helm with 54.16 percentage points while the Proteas slipped to the second spot with 50 percentage points. This saw Pakistan losing the fifth spot and slip to the sixth position with 45.83 percentage points.

Indian cricket team’s next Test assignment would be a five-match series against England, starting January 25.

 

 

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