India vs South Africa 4th Test Day 5: Ashwin takes five as India win series 3-0

India celebrate after beating South Africa 3-0

India celebrate after beating South Africa 3-0

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed yet another five-wicket haul to lead his side to a 337-run win and a 3-0 series victory over South Africa on the fifth day of the fourth Test in Delhi.

The Proteas had adopted a blockathon approach on the fourth day to try and salvage the final Test and soften the series scoreline.

They continued with that approach when starting the day off on 72/2, but captain Hashim Amla’s long duration at the crease finally came to an end when he was clean bowled by Ravindra Jadeja for 25.

Amla’s overnight partner AB de Villiers continued to frustrate India with his extremely defensive style of play and Faf du Plessis added to India’s irritation as he utilised the same mindset.

But, once du Plessis was dismissed, South Africa’s collapse began and not even de Villiers could save them as he himself succumbed to the mounting pressure placed on his side by the Indian spinners and pace bowler Umesh Yadav.

In the end, South Africa’s blockathon approach was not enough to save them and India subsequently secured a 3-0 series win and moved up to second on the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test team rankings.

Ashwin finished with five wickets, while Yadav snapped up three and Jadeja chipped in with two.

Ashwin finished with figures of 5-61 off 49.1 overs

Ashwin finished with figures of 5-61 off 49.1 overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Amla was disappointed to have lost the match, and said: “We knew we had to bat long and hard, we tried our exceptional best, AB had a fantastic effort … You got to do what is best for the team, it is easy to go out there and get some runs, but we tried to take it as deep as possible, get something from this game , unfortunately we were outplayed by India throughout the whole series, they batted and bowled better than us.

“Winning the T20s and the ODIs was brilliant … It was a tough series for our batters, we didn’t manage to get enough runs … credit to our seamers on these pitches, just unfortunate we couldn’t get the runs to back them up.”

Kohli was ecstatic to have won the series 3-0, and said: “All the wins were special, but this one because we had to work harder, the South African batsmen put their heads down and played for the draw, always hard work. I just asked the bowlers to put their hands up and that’s what happened after tea … That really depends on how much energy the team is showing, standing on my own I can’t do anything, all 11 guys deserve the credit … we were surprised with how they were defending, their approach … the bowlers did not lose patience .. they can be really proud of their effort today.

“We have bowlers who have the pace it is important to back them on any surface … it is important to give them confidence at the right times and they have to respond as well. I just want to thank the crowd, it has been tremendous playing in front of a packed stadium. Thank you for your support.”

India batsman Ajinkya Rahane was named Man of the Match for scoring two centuries, and said: “Really enjoyed that, I would like to dedicate this to the people in Chennai who are suffering from the floods and the Indian army who is helping out, this one is for them. Really happy for myself and my team. I always like to improve my game, my cricketing skills, believe in my process because the results will follow.”

Ashwin was named Man of the Series for taking 31 wickets at an average of 11.12, and said: “I think it is a great feeling, a fitting finale to a wonderful series, we were going for it, we fought really hard, they dug in really deep. Generally all these black soil wickets, there’s not much bounce. Massive support from Jadeja, he hits the stumps so often, amazing support from me, and let’s not forget Umesh.”

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