South Africa lost a staggering 16 wickets on the third day of the third Test in Ranchi and were left staring at a massive defeat to India who have been ruthless in their pursuit of a 3-0 whitewash.
Both teams will return to the ground on Tuesday as India look to pick up the final 2 wickets to complete their first-ever whitewash over South Africa in a Test series.
India had won the first Test in Vizag 203 runs and the second Test in Pune by an innings and 137 runs. South Africa hoped to show more character in the final Test in Ranchi but India were too good for the visitors.
Resuming at their overnight score of 9 for 2, South Africa offered no resistance on the third morning. Already buried under Rohit Sharma’s 212 and India’s mammoth 497 for 9 declared, the Proteas had their task cut out to avoid a 3-0 whitewash.
Umesh Yadav bowled a peach of a delivery to remove South Africa captain Faf du Plessis early before Zubayr Hamza and Temba Bavuma stalled the Indian attack for a short while.
But the Hamza – Bavuma partnership was nowhere near enough. Sure Hamza looked aggressive and played a few sterling shots in his 62 but the need of the hour was a blockathon that could have driven India’s bowlers to some kind of frustration.
Instead, Hamza was done in Ravindra Jadeja while Bavuma was stumped by Wriddhiman Saha to become Shahbaz Nadeem’s maiden Test wicket in successive overs after the duo had resisted for the better part of the morning.
Debutant George Linde looked good for his 37 but even without R Ashwin taking a first-innings wicket, the Indian bowling attack was far too potent for the South Africans.
Umesh Yadav took 3 wickets while Mohammed Shami, Nadeem and Jadeja picked 2 wickets apiece as South Africa were blown away for 162.
Virat Kohli then broke Mohammad Azharuddin’s record when he enforced the follow-on for the 7th time. South Africa were in immediate trouble after Shami and Umesh rocked their top-order once again.
Umesh Yadav drew first blood in the first innings when he removed Quinton de Kock and Mohammed Shami, in a furious burst, removed Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis and Bavuma to leave South Africa reeling.
At the stroke of tea, Dean Elgar was hit on the side of the helmet by a Umesh Yadav delivery – South Africa decided to use their concussion substitute and Theunis de Bruyn walked out to bat alongside Dane Piedt after Heinrich Klaasen fell to Umesh when play resumed in the final session of the third day.
Dane Piedt and de Bruyn tried to delay the inevitable but a horror shot by Piedt allowed Jadeja to get his first wicket of the maiden wickets – with 6.2 overs left for the day at that stage, India were keen to pick up the remaining 3 wickets to wrap up a dominant win.