Vernon Philander’s career-best performance of 6-42 on day four at Newlands is our Play of the Day.
The momentum was with India after lunch on day four. After dismissing South Africa for 130, India went into the fourth innings needing only 208 runs for victory.
The Proteas needed a hero. Dale Steyn, the go-to man in so many similar situations over the years, could not bowl due to a heel injury.
Philander put his hand up and asked for the new ball. The pressure was on the Proteas at this point. Philander stuck to his game plan.
He thought that he had Murali Vijay on two separate occasions – India reviewed both ‘dismissals’ successfully. His persistence paid off, though, when he eventually got the opener caught by AB de Villiers at slip.
FIRST TEST REPORT: Philander flays India
That was but the start of Philander’s match-winning run. He continued to take the ball away from the right-handed batsmen. Then Virat Kohli misjudged a delivery that moved back into his body. Philander appealed and the umpire raised the finger.
Kohli reviewed, but the replays only confirmed that the India captain was ‘stone dead’ lbw. That was a massive turning point in the contest.
India continued to fight for a foothold. Ravi Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar put on 49 runs for the eighth wicket.
South Africa needed someone to end the resistance. Philander returned to the attack, broke that partnership, and then ran through the tail to finish the innings with a six-wicket haul.
Philander finished the game with match figures of 9-75.
Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
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