| Ajinkya Rahane, in Durban, on Monday |
Durban: India crashed to a humiliating 10-wicket defeat in the second Test, after their young batsmen surrendered meekly to give South Africa a 1-0 series triumph in Jacques Kallis’ farewell match, here on Monday.
Needing to bat out the entire fifth day’s play at the Kingsmead to force a draw, the Indians had the worst possible start by losing Virat Kohli in the very first ball. They never really recovered from the jolt to be bundled out for 223.
Ajinkya Rahane stood bravely amidst the ruins with a gutsy 96, and was the last man out. India were pegged back after losing five wickets in the morning session.
Left-arm spinner Robin Peterson (4/74) was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts, with a four-wicket haul. Pacers Dale Steyn (3/47) and Vernon Philander (3/43) shared the rest of the spoils.
South Africa then chased down the meagre 58-run target in 11.4 overs with ease. Skipper Graeme Smith (27) hit a six and a four off Rohit Sharma to record their first win at Kingsmead. Alviro Petersen struck five boundaries and a six.
The victory was a befitting farewell gift to Jacques Kallis, who himself had a memorable match by cracking his 45th Test hundred.
Smith’s cover drive for four triggered off celebrations in the home camp, as they finally broke the Durban jinx. They had not won here since beating the West Indies by an innings and 100 runs in January 2008. Australia, England, India and Sri Lanka have all enjoyed handsome triumphs in Durban since 2008.
For the Indians, it turned out to be a heart-breaking end to the tour, that saw them being vanquished in the one-day series as well.
The loss was all the more disappointing since the team had fought gallantly in the thrilling drawn Test in Johannesburg.
It is the fifth time that India have lost a Test series in South Africa, having managing a 1-1 draw only once in 2010-11.
Rahane scored a fighting 96, off 157 balls with 11 fours and two sixes. But his was a lone battle as none of the frontline batsmen making any substantial contribution.
After Steyn and Peterson did the early damage, Philander chipped in and Morne Morkel provided able support, as five Indian wickets fell in the morning session.