In a sensational display of pace bowling, Mohammed Siraj wreaked havoc on the South African batting line-up, claiming six wickets in the opening session of the second Test at Newlands, Capetown. His remarkable performance not only marked his best figures in Test cricket but also led to South Africa being dismissed for their lowest-ever Test score of 55 runs.
Opting to bowl first after winning the toss, Siraj immediately made his presence felt by sending Aiden Markram back to the pavilion with a catch in the slips by Yashasvi Jaiswal. Continuing his relentless pressure, Siraj further dented the Proteas’ top order by inducing Dean Elgar to drag a delivery back onto his stumps.
Employing bouncers with precision accuracy, Siraj unsettled the South African batsmen, exploiting their vulnerabilities with strategic planning. His ability to read the game and adapt his bowling to exploit weaknesses was evident in the dismissals of David Bedingham and Marco Jansen. Tony de Zorzi’s dismissal, where he edged a delivery to the wicketkeeper while attempting a glance down the leg, added to Siraj’s impressive haul.
This outstanding performance marked Siraj’s third five-wicket haul in his 23-match Test career, with his figures of 6/15 being his best in Test cricket. He bowled nine consecutive overs from one end, showcasing his endurance and skill on the field.
The Proteas’ previous lowest Test score was 73 against Sri Lanka at Galle in 2018. However, Siraj’s exceptional bowling display led to South Africa being bowled out for just 55 runs, setting a new low for the home team in Test cricket.
Siraj’s remarkable performance not only showcased his talent but also underscored his growing stature as a key player in the Indian bowling attack. His ability to deliver under pressure has once again highlighted his potential as a match-winner for India in Test cricket.