Ravichandran Ashwin registers his best figures in Tests © AFP
Ravichandran Ashwin registers his best figures in Tests © AFP

India have beaten South Africa by 124 runs in the 3rd Test at Nagpur and have clinched the 4-match series 2-0 with one match to play. Ravichandran Ashwin was the star of the second innings, finishing with 7 wickets in the innings and a total of 12 in the match. His figures of 7 for 66 are his best figures in Tests. He is also now the leading wicket-taker in Tests in 2015, surpassing Stuart Broad’s feat. India have therefore ended South Africa’s streak of remaining unbeaten for 9 away series. Last time South Africa lost an away series before this was when they lost 0-2 to Sri Lanka. South Africa will have a chance to redeem themselves when they take on India in the fourth Test at Delhi, scheduled to be played in Delhi between December 3-7. Full cricket Scorecard: India vs South Africa, 3rd Test, Day 3

South Africa gave India a good fight in the fourth innings as the 72-run stand between Hashim Amla and faf du Plessis gave them some home hope of wining the match. But after they were removed in quick succession by Amit Mishra before tea on Day 3, India sniffed that they can win the match from there. They did just that as the spinners led by Ashwin ran havoc to clean up South Africa with minimal effort. Live Cricket Update India vs South Africa 2015, 3rd Test at Nagpur, Day 3

South Africa showed glimpses of what they can do even on turning tracks with bat and ball. Their spinners Imran Tahir and Simon Harmer bowled extremely well. Even with the bat, the Amla-du Plessis partnership proved that they too can hang around and score runs as well. They have something to build on when they head into the 4th Test at Delhi.

India had won the toss and elected to bat first. They made 215 in their first innings, with Murali Vijay top scoring with 40. He and Shikhar Dhawan put on 50 for the opening wicket. India underwent a collapse, but the 48-run stand between Wriddhiman Saha and Ravindra Jadeja ensured that India went past 200. South Africa in reply were bowled out for 79, which is a team’s lowest score against India. India established a 166-run lead and made a further 173 in their second innings. For South Africa Imran Tahir was the pick of the bowlers, picking up 5 wickets. South Africa were therefore set a target of 310 in the fourth innings.

Both India and South Africa made a change or two in their playing XI. Stuart Binny was dropped to the bench and leg-spinner Amit Mishra was preferred ahead of him. Rohit Sharma too was picked in the side following his impressive show in the Ranji Trophy 2015-16 season ahead of fasr bowler Varun Aaron.

Brief scores:

India 215  (Murali Vijay 40, Wriddhiman Saha 32, Ravindra Jadeja 34; Morne Morkel 3 for 35, Simon Harmer 4 for 78) & 173 (Shikhar Dhawan 39, Cheteshwar Pujara 31; Morne Morkel 3 for 19, Imran Tahir 5 for 38) beat South Africa 79 (JP Duminy, Simon Harmer 13; Ravichandran Ashwin 5 for 32, Ravindra Jadeja 4 for 33) & 151 for 6 (Hashim Amla 39, Faf du Plessis 39; Ravichandran Ashwin 7 for 66, Amit Mishra 3 or 51) by 124 runs.

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Man of the match: Ravichandran Ashwin

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)