India made short work of South Africa on the fourth morning of their third test in Ranchi to complete a series whitewash.
Resuming on 132 – 8 in their second innings, after they had been all out for 162 in their first innings in reply to India’s 497 -9 declared, the visitors added just one run to their overnight score and survived two overs until spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, playing in his first test, had Theunis de Bruyn caught behind by Wriddiham Saha for 30. And then, with his next delivery he had Lungu Ngidi caught and bowled for a duck, albeit in somewhat bizarre fashion – his shot deflected off team mate Anrich Nortje at the non-striker’s end, allowing Nadeem to complete the catch.
The result was that South Africa were bowled out for 133, their lowest score of what has been a tour to forget for the Proteas’ team.
That gave India victory by an innings and 202 runs, which they can set alongside their 203 run victory in the first test, and their win by an innings and 137 runs in the second.
All three matches had followed a similar blueprint – India won the toss and opted to bat, building a big first innings total, and then controlling the game from there. In fact, the first test was the only match where captain Virat Kohli and his side had to bat twice in the match – in the other two matches, South Africa were made to follow-on and were dismissed relatively cheaply each time.
The win means that world number one test side have extended their lead at the top of the inaugural ICC World Test Championships, having won all five of their last test matches against the West Indies and now South Africa to claim a maximum of 240 points. They are followed by New Zealand and Sri Lanka who have 60 points each, though India’s lead is somewhat distorted because they have been playing test cricket whilst other sides have been idle.
Rohit Sharma, who was only pushed up the order to opening the innings in this series was named man of the series, after scoring 529 runs across the three games, at an average of 132.25. That included his maiden test double century innings in this match of 212.
India are now set to host Bangladesh in a test and ODI series nest month, whilst South Africa’s next test involvement will be when England visit at the end of the year.