Falling of wickets is a familiar sight in the sport of cricket in any particular format. When on song, the bowlers tend to pick up wickets in a flurry. The wickets keep on going at different stages of the game and also at different scores. But recently India created an embarrassing record for most wickets falling at a single score in Test history.
After losing the first of the two-match Test series against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion, India locked horns with hosts in the second and final game of the series at the picturesque Newlands Stadium in Cape Town. The visitors had already drawn the T20 international series 1-1 (3) while they clinched the three-match one-day international series 1-2 on their recent 2023-24 tour to the Rainbow Nation.
The unprecedented collapse
Coming back to the Cape Town Test, skipper Dean Elgar, in the last Test of his career, won the toss and decided to bat first. Seam bowler Mohammed Siraj wreaked havoc as he picked up his career-best figures of 6/15 which also included three maidens in nine overs as the home side got bundled out cheaply for a mere 55. It turned out to be the lowest total by a team against India in the longest format of the game.
In reply, opener Yashasvi Jaiswal was dismissed for a seven-ball duck while his partner and captain Rohit Sharma scored a fluent 50-ball 39. Batting at no. three, youngster Shubman Gill amassed 36 off 55 with five fours while Shreyas Iyer managed a two-ball duck.
Batting at no. four, star batter Virat Kohli kept his side in the hunt for a big first innings total. Wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja got out for just eight and zero runs respectively as Kohli kept losing partners at the other end. At the score of 153, India lost Rahul, and in came all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to join Kohli in the middle. Kohli was batting at a score of 46 and it looked like he will go on to add more to his tally. But what followed was nothing but a shocking result for the tourists.
With the same score of 153, India lost Jadeja and it was all about the Proteas then. The Asian giants lost all of their last six wickets at the same score to script an unprecedented record. After Jadeja, it was Bumrah, Kohli, Siraj, and Prasidh Krishna who all headed towards the pavilion.
India managed to take a healthy 98-run lead on a difficult Cape Town track that had plenty of support for the seam bowlers. Seamers Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, and Nandre Burger all snared three scalps each to dismiss the Asian side at 153. In the second innings, opener Aiden Markram played one of the most outstanding knocks as he smashed 106 off 103, which included 17 fours and two maximums. His innings was not enough as South Africa got bowled out for 176 with India winning the match by a margin of seven wickets to also level the series 1-1.