Centurion: Sachin Tendulkar’s historic 50th Test ton went in vain as South Africa handed India an embarrassing innings and 25 runs defeat in the first Test to take a 1-0 lead in the three match series.
Starting the day from their overnight score of 454/8, the final two Indian wickets could not last even 6 overs as both Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn took a wicket each to wrap up the Indians for 459.
While Morkel accounted for S Sreesanth (3), Steyn sent back Jaidev Undakat (1) to trigger wild celebrations in the South African camp. Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar remained unbeaten on 111.
Jacques Kallis was declared Man of the Match for his brilliant double century.
For the home team, Steyn was the most successful bowler with four wickets while both Morkel and Paul Harris captured a couple of wickets each.
Despite their fighting effort in the second innings with most of the batsmen contributing their bit (Gautam Gambhir 80, Virender Sehwag 63, Rahul Dravid 43, MS Dhoni 90), the tourists could never recover from their horrendous first innings effort, which saw them dismissed for a paltry 136 in less than two session of play.
Morkel was the wrecker-in-chief in the first innings as he captured five wickets. Steyn also did enough to torment the Indians with 3 crucial wickets.
Replying to India’s meager first innings total, the South African batsmen came out with the aim of batting just once in the match. Some ordinary bowling by the inexperienced Indian pace attack also helped their cause.
Riding on Kallis’ first double ton (201*) in Test cricket and brilliant centuries by Hashim Amla (140) and AB de Villiers (129), South Africa made a humungous 620/4 dec, leaving India in danger of suffering one of their biggest ever defeats in Test cricket.
AB de Villiers set the record books on fire with the fastest Test century by a South African player.
The Indian bowlers had nothing much to write home about with both Harbhajan Singh and Ishant Sharma picking up a couple of wickets each.
The series now moves on to Durban where the second Test of the series will be played from December 26. The possible return of Zaheer Khan to the side will boost up the Indian bowling attack on the pacy Durban track.