Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin sliced through South Africa’s batting line-up with seven wickets to lead his side to a 124-run win and snap the Proteas’ nine-year away winning streak.
Starting out the day on 32/2, South Africa captain Hashim Amla and batsman Faf du Plessis were the only two batsmen to put up any sort of resistance as they made 39 runs apiece.
With JP Duminy being the next highest scorer with 19 runs, South Africa, who were chasing 310 to win, got nowhere near their target as they were bundled out for 185.
Ashwin was easily the pick of the bowlers with seven wickets, while Amit Mishra took the other three.
Amla was disappointed with his side’s performance, and said: “Obviously very disappointing. It was a hard game. Whether we win or lose, we have to fight honorably and well done to the guys. We tried to dig deep as long as we can. The pitch was a difficult factor, it was turning and bouncing whether the new ball or the old one. Three-day matches are difficult.”
India skipper Virat Kohli was delighted to have clinched the series, and said: “Very pleasing indeed, especially because they won the ODI and T20 series. Some good cricket in Mohali, Bangalore and here. Feels very good. We played some good cricket. Ashwin is a world-class spinner, he stepped up in a big way for us, maybe the best in the world at the moment, we expected them to string in a partnership or two.
“This is what Test cricket is, we need patience with the ball and believing a chance will come. Mishra showed great character in that period. I think it was a challenging wicket, the batsmen applied better in Mohali. It is all about application. There are no sorts of excuses on that, our batsmen showed character in three innings. Sometimes you have conditions where it is going to be bowler-friendly, chances can be created. Spinners have had an upper hand in the series. Sealing the series was very important, Delhi will be an opportunity for us to be more consistent.”
Ashwin was named Man of the Match, and said: “The wicket slowed up a bit today, there was help in the wicket but the way Faf and Amla played, we had to put some good balls. One team was trying to fight, one team was trying to win. Batsmen go out to make 100s, I go out to get five-fors. I thought Amit bowled a wonderful spell after lunch, we prized out a couple of wickets in that post-lunch session. Anybody who goes out there and trusts his defense can play well.”