Pune: India outclassed South Africa by an innings and 137 runs in the second Test of the three-match rubber to clinch the Freedom Trophy with a contest to go.
After winning the toss, India rode skipper’s Virat Kohli double century, opener Mayank Agarwal’s century and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s 91 to amass a mammoth 601/5d on board and later the hosts bowlers wrapped up both innings of South Africa in around two days.
It was also India’s 11th consecutive series win at home, which is another world record.
At tea, Keshav Maharaj and Vernon Philander dug deep and proved hard to beat as they took South Africa to 172/7 at tea, halting India’s victory celebrations for the time being on Day 4 of the second Test here on Sunday.
The Proteas trailed by 154 runs after being asked to follow on as they were all out for 275 at the end of Day 3, replying to India’s mammoth 601/5d in the first innings.
Familiar tormentors Ravichandran Ashwin (2/45) and Ravindra Jadeja (2/47) spun a web around the more accomplished South Africa batters as none except Temba Bavuma (38) could score runs to a certain extent.
Quinton de Kock (5) was the first to depart after the first session, trying to slog-sweep Jadeja and losing his stumps in the process.
Ajinkya Rahane then pulled off a stunning catch to remove Bavuma off Jadeja while Senuran Muthusamy (9) was removed by Mohammed Shami, Rohit Sharma taking a catch at second slip.
Earlier, Ashwin took two wickets as India reduced South Africa to 74/4 at lunch.
The session though belonged to India stumper Wriddhiman Saha’s brilliance behind the stumps as the 34-year old took a stunning one-handed diving catch off Umesh Yadav’s delivery to dismiss Theunis De Bruyn (8) in the sixth over of the innings.
Saha’s effort left all his teammates amused as skipper Virat Kohli came running to congratulate the dimunitive wicketkeeper whom he hailed as the best in the world few days back.
Saha had taken a similar catch to remove the same batsman in the first essay, flying to his right to grab the ball with both hands right in front of first slip off Umesh’s bowling to dismiss de Bruyn as the tourists slumped to 53/5 on Day 3.
The Proteas were eventually bowled out for 275, still 326 runs behind India’s mammoth first innings score of 601/5d.