JOHANNESBURG – Seamer Jasprit Bumrah took five wickets as India seized control of the third and final test against South Africa on Thursday, going to the close of the second day with a 42-run lead on a treacherous wicket at the Wanderers.
Bumrah, in this third test, ripped through the middle-order and cleaned up the South African tail with career-best figures of 5-54 as India bowled their hosts out for 194.
With South Africa having taken a slender lead of seven runs, the tourists reached 49 for one wicket in their second innings.
Murali Vijay (13 not out) and Lokesh Rahul (16 not out) will resume on the third day as India look to set South Africa a challenging target.
With 21 wickets tumbling in just two days on a wicket that has pace, bounce and prodigious lateral movement, it appears that any target above 150 will be difficult to overhaul.
South Africa lacked their usual intensity in the Indian second innings and may rue not being able to make deeper inroads into the batting line-up before the close.
India had elevated middle-order batsman Parthiv Patel (16) to the top of the order to give them a right/left hand combination in the opening positions.
He made a fast start but was out to a fantastic catch from Aiden Markram racing in from slip after an inside edge onto his pad from a Vernon Philander (1-11) delivery.
“It was always my dream to play test cricket and to get my first five-wicket haul, it’s very good. And to contribute to the team’s success is a good feeling,” Bumrah told SuperSport.
“When so much is happening on the wicket you can get over-excited. That was the basic message that was given to the bowlers, not to get carried away, to bowl a disciplined line.”
The home side started the second day on six for one after dismissing India for 187 and Hashim Amla (61) and nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada (30) put on 64 for the third wicket.
Rabada was out five minutes before lunch and South Africa then lost their way in the middle session as AB de Villiers (5), Faf du Plessis (8) and Quinton de Kock (8) all failed, the latter two out to Bumrah.
The Indian seamer then had Amla caught at mid-wicket, before trapping Andile Phehlukwayo (9) lbw and seeing Lungi Ngidi (0) caught by wicketkeeper Patel as the innings came to a rapid end.
“We had to scratch around for a few runs and at one stage we were quite far behind the deficit, so to get to 190 was a decent effort,” Amla said.
South Africa have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series but are seeking a first-ever clean-sweep over India.