It was an extraordinary opening day in Cape Town, after 23 wickets fell as India dismissed South Africa for just 55 before collapsing to 153 all out in reply, an incident that no one could have anticipated. Mohammed Siraj played a pivotal role, taking career-best figures of 6-15 as the hosts were taken down in 23.2 overs on a bouncy, lively second Test pitch.
KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli, Siraj, and Prasidh Krishna were all out for ducks in India’s innings, marking the first time a team has lost six wickets without scoring a run in Test history. South Africa, trailing by 98 runs, slipped to 62-3 in their second innings at stumps.
India initially took control with South Africa’s dismal first innings. Captain Dean Elgar, playing his final Test before retiring, was bowled for two by Siraj. Opener Aiden Markram and the Proteas’ top-scorer in the innings, Kyle Verreynne, also fell to Siraj, who continued to wreak havoc.
India’s innings appeared to be heading towards a substantial lead at 153-4, but Lungi Ngidi’s three-wicket burst in the 34th over triggered a stunning collapse. Six wickets fell for no runs in 11 balls after tea, with Ngidi dismissing Rahul, Jadeja, and Bumrah in quick succession.
Despite Virat Kohli’s 46 and contributions from other batsmen, the collapse allowed South Africa to regain some ground. Rabada, Ngidi, and Burger took three wickets each, contributing to India’s eventual total of 153 all out. In the 2nd innings, Elgar fell twice in a day in his final Test match, and South Africa ended the day at 62-3, still trailing by 36 runs.
Both sides will get the opportunity to redeem themselves with the remaining days left in the second test, which ends on Sunday, January 7th.