Kumar gives India the ascendancy

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Kumar gives India the ascendancy

Bhuvneshwar Kumar took four wickets including three in his first three overs as India’s bowlers gained the ascendancy on the first day of the first Test against South Africa at Newlands on Friday.

South Africa were struggling at 230 for seven at tea despite half-centuries from AB de Villiers and captain Faf du Plessis. Kumar had figures of four for 68.

Du Plessis said batting first on a well-grassed pitch was a tricky decision and a disastrous start must have reinforced his misgivings.

Kumar gained appreciable movement off a well-grassed pitch to plunge the South African innings into disarray at 12 for three.

After some spirited batting by South Africa, Kumar took another wicket shortly before tea to put the world’s top-ranked Test team in a strong position against their second-placed opponents.

De Villiers and Du Plessis put on 114 for the fourth wicket, with De Villiers in sparkling form as he hit 65 off 84 balls with 11 fours.

He showed intent from the start of his innings, hitting four fours off Kumar?s fifth over to launch a South African counter-attack.

De Villiers missed a drive against new cap Jasprit Bumrah and was bowled. Du Plessis went on to make 62 off 104 balls with 12 fours before he was caught behind off Hardik Pandya.

Quinton de Kock (43) and Vernon Philander (23) put on a rapid 60 for the sixth wicket before De Kock was caught behind by Kumar and Philander was bowled by Mohammed Shami.