In a historic and brief Test match at Newlands, Jasprit Bumrah showcased his prowess, spearheading India to a series-levelling seven-wicket victory against South Africa. The match, the shortest ever in terms of overs bowled, saw Bumrah's masterful spell of 6/61 in 13.5 overs, crippling South Africa's middle-order. Aiden Markram's resilient century (106 off 103 balls) provided a lone resistance, guiding South Africa to 176 in 36.5 overs.
Chasing a modest target of 79 runs, India reached victory in just 12 overs, with Yashasvi Jaiswal (28) and skipper Rohit Sharma (16 not out) leading the charge. This triumph marked India's first win at Newlands in seven attempts and was distinguished by the exceptional performances of fast bowlers Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, who took a career-best six-wicket haul in the first innings, restricting South Africa to 55.
Despite the victory, India has not been able to conquer South Africa in Test series on their home soil. Rohit Sharma, as captain, secured the bragging rights of being only the second skipper after Mahendra Singh Dhoni to draw a series in South Africa.
The match's brevity set a record for the shortest Test in terms of overs bowled, surpassing a 1932 game involving Australia and South Africa. The surface at Newlands received scrutiny for inconsistent bounce and was termed the "fastest Day 1 track" by South African batting consultant Ashwell Prince. The decisions made by skipper Rohit, including playing Mukesh Kumar and adjusting bowlers to the ideal length, reflected his leadership acumen.
Bumrah's adaptability on a surface offering movement showcased his maturity, shifting from a back-of-length approach to traditional fuller-length deliveries. His hostile spell marked his ninth five-wicket haul in Test cricket. A resilient Markram fought valiantly for South Africa but fell short, ensuring India's series-levelling victory.
The leadership decisions and stellar performances by the Indian team, especially the fast bowlers Bumrah and Siraj, culminated in a memorable victory at Newlands, underlining India's resilience and determination in challenging conditions.
Brief Scores: South Africa: 55 and 176 all out in 36.5 overs (Aiden Markram 106; Jasprit Bumrah 6/61). India: 153 all out and 80/3 in 12 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 28).