Like a heavy metal song that begins in the guise of a gentle melody, India simply blew people away. Eight wickets for only 65 runs – has given them an outside chance of winning the Newlands Test. Their target is 208.
Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah were in charge of the entertainment. And their success was in no small part down to a a stage that appeared tailor-made for them. A pitch that made good length deliveries behave like bouncers.
The most vicious one was reserved for the opposition captain. Faf du Plessis did not do much wrong in deciding to press forward to a delivery that under normal circumstances would have come up about waist-high. But in Cape Town, the day after the pitch spent slumbering under the covers amid several hours of rain, something crazy happened. The ball banged into the deck, it trampolined up to take the top glove even as the batsman recoiled from the line of fire, and settled in the wicketkeeper’s waiting gloves.
Wriddhiman Saha was the busiest man in the morning and after his work in the field was done he had a shiny new record against his name: the most catches taken by an Indian in a Test match.
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Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.