Rahul and Shami star in India First Test Win

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Betting Expert, James Pacheco

Last updated on 31st December 2021

Published: 31/12/2021

Categories: Cricket, News

A brilliant first innings century from KL Rahul and Mohammad Shami’s seven wickets in the match were instrumental in India beating South Africa in the First Test at Centurion.

But with the chance to make history over the next couple of weeks, the job is only half done.

Bumrah and Shami do their jobs on Day Five

India wrapped up the First Test on Day Five, winning by 161 runs.

Chasing an extremely unlikely target of 305 on a tough pitch and with fears that rain could save South Africa, the Indian bowlers did their job to ensure they went 1-0 up in the three-match Series.

With South Africa skipper Dean Elgar (77) ably supported first by Rassie van der Dussen (11 off 65) and then Temba Bavuma, who finished 35 not out, the more optimistic South African supporters may have felt it wasn’t impossible for the Proteas to bat out a draw.

But a combination of a deteriorating pitch and excellent bowling on Day Five from both of India’s star pace bowlers- Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami-  put an end to any thoughts that the hosts could still save the match.

Bumrah trapped Elgar LBW with a brilliant delivery that swung in and bowled Van der Dussen, also claiming the wicket of nightwatchman Keshav Maharaj.

Shami dismissed opener Aiden Markram, plus all-rounders Wiaan Mulder and Marco Jensen.

That made it eight wickets in the match for the excellent Shami, a far cry from the awful abuse he received on social media after a slightly off-day against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup, the first time India had lost to Pakistan at a World Cup.

Rahul sets the platform

Shami would have won the man-of-the-match award in most matches for his eight wickets in the game.

But in the end it went to opener KL Rahul, for his superb 123 in the first innings. It was the only century in the match and only three other players got to 50.

His 123 came off 260 balls and included 17 fours and a six.

Rahul is quickly becoming one of the best all-format batsmen in world cricket and at 29, one suspects the best is yet to come.

His century was vital in giving India a very good first innings total of 327 in the circumstances, the platform for a win where South Africa were under pressure from the first session onwards.

Other than Shami and Rahul, good contributions for India included a good 60 from fellow opener Mayank Agarwal and five wickets for Bumrah.

India looking to make history

India have famously never won a Test series in South Africa. Now 1-0 up, they’ll never have a better chance than this one.

The Second Test starts on January 3 at Johannesburg and 10CRIC make India 2.09 favourites to win it. It’s 3.22 the South Africa win and 3.06 the draw.

India’s task will be made easier by the fact that wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock has just announced his immediate retirement from Test cricket.

He was actually likely to miss the Second and Third Tests on paternity leave anyway but he’ll definitely be unavailable now.