India receive a 10-wicket drubbing in Durban
After India’s brief domination with the bat on the opening day, the hosts have remained on top all throughout. After winning the toss and choosing to bat, India progressed to 181 for 1 on a surprisingly flat pitch on the first day, thanks to a wonderful partnership between Murali Vijay and Chetershwar Pujara.
However, the rain changed India’s fortunes as well as the pitch’s behavior on the second day as a stunning 6-wicket spell from Dale Steyn helped the hosts dismiss India on 334. Smith and Petersen’s 100-run opening stand got the home side to a perfect start in their response. Ravindra Jadeja brought India back briefly on the third morning with a few quick wickets, but then Jacques Kallis took charge of the game with a resolute century.
Kallis’ 115, along with AB de Villiers’ 74 and a quickfire 61 from Robin Petersen on the 4th day helped them post 500 in the first innings. The Proteas then tightened their grip on the game by removing the Indian openers before the end of the fourth day.
India lost Virat Kohli on the first ball of the final day and Pujara too made his way back soon afterwards. From that point onwards it was just a matter of when, even as Ajinkya Rahane scored a fighting 96. His resistance helped the visitors avoid an innings defeat before South Africa raced to the 58-run target with all 10 wickets to spare.
Dale Steyn gets the Man-of-the-Match award for his 9 wickets in the match. AB de Villiers wins the Man-of-the-Series award for his 190 runs, most of which came when SA needed it the most.