Kuldeep and Chahal shared __ wickets between them © Getty Images
Kuldeep and Chahal shared 8 wickets between them © Getty Images

The Centurion wicket looked hard and grassy in the morning, and India sensed an opportunity. Virat Kohli, deciding to bowl first, knew the pitch would be favourable for Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. However, Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock have mind-boggling records at the venue: Amla had four hundreds in his last four innings here and de Kock had three in three. The duo started played their strokes to good effect — the best being Amla’s punch through covers.

Bhuvi, for the smartness he is reputed for, exploited Amla’s weakness. He angled one in, and Amla got an inside edge to become MS Dhoni’s 399th ODI dismissal. After 10 overs South Africa were 39 for 1, of which de Kock managed 16 runs.

Virat Kohli wasted no time in introducing spinners who had taken 5 of the 7 South African wickets at Durban. Yuzvendra Chahal started with a three-run over. Hardik Pandya’s poor line forced Kohli to replace him with Kuldeep Yadav. Spinners now operated from both ends, and the expected beckoned. Chahal bowled so slow that de Kock could not control his urge to go big. There was not enough power behind the pull: Pandya took an easy catch at deep midwicket. If that blunder was not enough, Aiden Markram, the stand-in captain, executed a similar stroke off Kuldeep and found Bhuvi at deep mid-wicket. The scorecard now read 51 for 3 in 13.1 overs.

Kuldeep lured David Miller into driving the ball, and there went another wicket. Ajinkya Rahane took a simple catch at first-slip.

In came Khaya Zondo. Along with JP Duminy, the debutant steadied the innings. The duo played spin with conviction and slowed India’s momentum, but that was it. The impatient Zondo fell into the trap of guile: he top edged to square-leg to give Kuldeep his third wicket. Soon, Chahal trapped Duminy in front. And soon, Kuldeep’s wrong ‘un trapped Kagiso Rabada in the crease. Chris Morris played a six down town, but in the next over Chahal made Morkel his fourth victim.

To break the monotony, Kohli brought back Bumrah into the attack. He got a wicket in the very first over the new spell, knocking over Imran Tahir for a duck. In the next over Chahal finished South Africa’s innings at 118, taking his maiden five-for in the format.

Brief scores:

South Africa 118 in 32.2 overs (JP Duminy 25, Khaya Zondo 25; Yuzvendra Chahal 5 for 22, Kuldeep Yadav 3 for 20) vs India

Full scorecard