Vernon Philander stars as South Africa down India in first Test

Hosts take 1-0 lead in three-match series courtesy 72-run win Cape Town

Vernon Philander produced another great spell to help South African beat India by 72 runs in the first Test of the three-match series in Cape Town on Monday.The match started with home side’s captain Faf du Plessis surprisingly decided to bat first on a juicy track with plenty to offer for the pacer.

And his decision proved wrong at the beginning as the Proteas lost first three wickets at the score of just 12, courtesy sublime swing bowling from right-arm pacer Bhuwaneshwar Kumar.

However, an AB de Villiers onslaught cancelled India’s advantage as the home side recovered and posted more than respectable 286 in the first innings.De Villiers finished the innings with the top score of 65 off 84 with the help of 11 fours, whereas captain Du Plessis scored timely 62 off 104 with the help of 12 boundaries.

For India, Kumar was the star of the show as he claimed four, whereas off-spinner Ravi Ashwin claimed two wickets.In response, India’s batting performance was not any better and only managed to score 209 before bundling out, largely thanks to all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s brisk 93 off 95 including 14 boundaries and one six, which helped the Men in Blue recover from 92 for seven at one stage.

For South Africa, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada was the pick of the bowlers as the duo claimed three wickets each.Starting with a lead of 77 in the first innings, Proteas had a solid start and reached to 65 for two at the end of second day’s play.

However, with the third day washing out, India made a grand comeback and bowled the home side out for just 130 during the first session of the fourth day’s play, courtesy brilliant bowling from all four pacers.

Chasing 208 to go 1-0 up, India had a solid start as well as Virat Kohli-led unit reached 30 without loss, but then started a grand collapse which was led by the 32-year-old Philander, who decimated the visiting side by claiming his career-best second innings figures of six for 44, handing Proteas comfortable 72-run triumph.For his brilliant bowling performance in both innings, Vernon Philander was named the player of the match.

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