NEW DELHI, Dec 7, (AP): Offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin finished with 5-61 Monday as India scored a comprehensive 337-run win over South Africa in the fourth and final Test to complete a 3-0 victory.
Ashwin’s haul included the prize wicket of a defiant A.B. de Villiers as South Africa was bowled out for 143 after fighting bravely to salvage a draw batting 143.1 overs.
Ashwin finished with 7-87 in the match and 31 wickets in the series dominated by Indian spinners on pitches helping them.
For South Africa, de Villiers faced 297 deliveries for his 43 and captain Hashim Amla 244 for his 25 but playing out over five sessions was always a big challenge after India set the top-ranked side an improbable 481-run target a little before lunch on Sunday.
South Africa scored only 71 runs on the final day after resuming at 72-2 and was bowled out 5.1 overs after tea, losing its last five wickets in the space of seven runs and 4.2 overs.
“I just asked the bowlers to put their hands up and that’s what happened after tea,” India captain Virat Kohli said. “All 11 guys deserve the credit. We were surprised how they (South Africans) defended but our bowlers showed enough patience.”
De Villiers was the seventh man out when a delivery from Ashwin popped up to hit his gloves for Ravindra Jadeja to accept the catch at leg-slip and trigger wild celebrations.
“We knew we had to bat long and hard,” Amla said. It’s easy to go out there and get some runs but we tried to take it as deep as possible but unfortunately we were outplayed by India throughout the series.”
South Africa started the morning dourly and Amla’s was the only dismissal of the first session, bowled by left-arm spinner Jadeja with the second new ball with a delivery that turned just enough to beat the edge and hit off stump.
Amla’s knock of 25 runs off 244 deliveries was the slowest in Test history by a batsman who has played 200 balls or more. The third-wicket partnership between Amla and de Villiers — 27 runs from 42.1 overs — was the lowest of all stands of 200 deliveries or more.
Faf du Plessis also batted in the same manner as he made 10 off 97 deliveries in two hours before being trapped leg-before wicket by Jadeja, who bowled 17 consecutive maiden overs in four spells.
Left-hander Jean-Paul Duminy was the other dismissal after lunch as he fell leg-before to Ashwin, without scoring off one that kept low.
Pace bowler Umesh Yadav also made his presence felt as he chipped in with 3-9 to rip through the lower order.
The wickets were not as easy coming in this match, in contrast to much of the series which saw spinners dominate in helpful conditions, with two of the matches— the first one at Mohali and the third at Nagpur— ending in less than three days.
The second match at Bangalore ended in a draw with four days of play washed out.
South Africa went into the Test series with hope, not only because of its top rank in the format but also because it won a preceding five-match one-day series 3-2 and a three-match Twenty20 series 2-0. This was South Africa’s first away Test series loss in nine years.
India vs South Africa Scoreboard
NEW DELHI, Dec 7, (AFP): Full scoreboard on the last day of the fourth and final Test between India and South Africa at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi on Monday:
INDIA 1st innings: 334 (A. Rahane 127, R. Ashwin 56; Abbott 5-40, Piedt 4-117)
SOUTH AFRICA 1st innings: 121 (de Villiers 42; R. Jadeja 5-30)
INDIA 2nd innings: 267-5 decl (A. Rahane 100 no, V. Kohli 88; Morkel 3-51)
SOUTH AFRICA 2nd innings (overnight 72-2):
- Elgar c Rahane b Ashwin 4
- Bavuma b Ashwin 34
- Amla b Jadeja 25
- AB de Villiers c Jadeja b Ashwin 43
- du Plessis lbw b Jadeja 10
- J.P. Duminy lbw b Ashwin 0
- Vilas b Yadav 13
- Abbott b Yadav 0
- Piedt c Saha b Yadav 1
- Morkel b Ashwin 2
- Tahir not out 0
Extras: (b8, lb3) 11
Total (all out, 143.1 overs) 143
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Elgar), 2-49 (Bavuma), 3-76 (Amla), 4-111 (du Plessis), 5-112 (Duminy), 6-136 (Vilas), 7-136 (de Villiers), 8-140 (Abbott), 9-143 (Piedt), 10-143 (Morkel).
Bowling: Sharma 20-12-23-0, Ashwin 49.1-26-61-5, Jadeja 46-33-26-2, Yadav 21-16-9-3, Dhawan 3-1-9-0, Vijay 2-0-2-0, Kohli 1-1-0-0, Pujara 1-0-2-0.
India win by 337 runs, take series 3-0
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI) and Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
TV umpire: C.K. Nandan (IND)
Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)