India needed only 12 balls on Tuesday morning at Ranchi to complete South Africa’s humiliation, and inflict a 3-0 series defeat on them. Asked for follow-on for the second consecutive Test, South Africa had crumbled to 132 for 8 at stumps on Day three.
Debutant Shahbaz Nadeem got both the wickets to fall on the final day of the Test. He first got concussion substitute Theunis de Bruyn (30) caught behind by one that kept low and skidded on. Shahbaz bowled India to victory very next ball when Lungi Ngidi hit one straight back. The ball hit the shoulder of the non-striker’s bat and landed safely in Nadeem’s hand to give the hosts the Freedom Trophy.
Earlier, on Day three, South Africa lost 16 wickets after they were asked to follow-on again by Virat Kohli. Zubayr Hamza’s 62 was the only consolation for the Proteas in their first innings as they got bowled over for 162. Umesh Yadav finished with 3 for 40 while Mohammed Shami, debutant Nadeem, and Ravindra Jadeja shared the other spoils. Ravichandran Ashwin wasn’t even among the wickets.
Things got worse for South Africa in the second innings as opener Dean Elgar had to retire hurt on 16 after being bounced out by Yadav. He was replaced by de Bruyn. Meanwhile, Yadav and Shami ran through the deflated South African top and middle-order, and, in no time, the Proteas were down in the dumps at 36 for 5 -- Quinton de Kock, Hamza, skipper Faf du Plessis, Temba Bavuma and Heinrich Klaasen all back in the hut.
The South African lower-order again showed some fight, but it was a case of too little too late. George Linde and Dane Piedt contributed 27 and 23 respectively. Shami and Yadav again shone with five wickets between them. On Day four, Nadeem completed the formalities on his home ground to seal the 3-0 whitewash for India.
--Renin Wilben Albert