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Flying Philander leads Proteas to first test victory over India

Vernon Philander took career best figures of 6/42 to bowl India out and help South Africa record a 73-run victory in the first Test.

Proteas bowler Vernon Philander. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG- Vernon Philander took career-best figures of 6/42 to bowl India out for 135 in their second innings in the first test at Newlands, helping the Proteas record a 73-run victory.

The hosts now lead the three-match series 1-0.

The first test provided plenty of entertainment right from day one, as neither side was willing to grab the game by the scruff of the neck. South Africa won the toss and elected to bat on a wicket that provided plenty of swing and seam for the fast bowlers.

The South Africans were made to rue their decision to bat first as they slumped to 12 for 3 inside the first hour of play, but then fought back valiantly, through counter-attacking performances from AB de Villiers (65) and Faf du Plessis (63), as the two notched up a 114-run partnership that guided the Proteas out of danger.

Buveneshwar Kumar starred for the Indians in the first innings, claiming impressive figures of 4/87 that had plenty of skill. The Proteas were eventually bowled out for 286 in their first innings late on day one.

The Indians lost three quick wickets before the close of play on the first day, with Murali Vijay, Shikar Dhawan and Virat Kohli all falling.

Day two then belonged to the expressive Hardik Pandya who blasted a phenomenal 93 of 91 balls to steer India to a first innings total of 209 all out.

Then Pandya struck early with the ball in South Africa’s second innings removing both openers before stumps were called. Much needed rain for the city of Cape Town then washed out the entire day 3 with the match hanging agonizingly in the balance.

The fourth day produced incredible drama as the South Africans lost eight wickets for 71 runs to be all out for 130 and set India a modest target of 208 runs to win.

The South African seamers had other ideas though as Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Morné Morkel ripped through the Indian batting line up with great skill and aggression. Rabada finished with figures of 2/41 while Morkel also chipped in with 2/39, but man of the match Philander routed India to finish with career-best figures of 6/42, to ensure that the Proteas went up 1-0 in the three-match series.

The match also came with an injury blow to Dale Steyn who injured his heel on the second day. He has since been ruled out of the entire series

Both teams now head to SuperSport Park in Centurion for the second test, which starts on 13 January.