Related Links: India Tour of South Africa 2013/14 – Schedule | SA Vs Ind, 1st Test at Johannesburg – Scorecard
India escaped Johannesburg with a draw although they were the team that were having a realistic chance of winning the First Test on the final day. South Africa thanks to superb centuries from Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers found themselves into a strong position by Tea time chasing down an otherwise improbable target of 458.
The morning session on Day 5 saw India earn a couple of big wickets – first was dangerman Alviro Petersen dragging Mohammed Shami onto his stumps. Petersen added no runs to his overnight score of 76. The next wicket was that of Jacques Kallis, who was flaying the Indian bowlers apart in a counter attack mode. Kallis having stroked his way to 34 from 37 balls with 6 fours was wrongly adjudged lbw to Zaheer Khan after inside edging an inswinger onto the pad.
South Africa had won the afternoon session with Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers batting out 31 overs while keeping their wickets intact. In the final session, SA needed just 127 runs in 30 possible overs and by the last hour got it down to 66 from 15 overs. Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers were still there at the crease leaving India in the danger of losing the Test match and conceding the record of the Highest Ever Run Chase in Test Cricket. Fortunately, India got the timely wickets of AB de Villiers and JP Duminy followed up by the brilliant run out from Ajinkya Rahane to end du Plessis’ stay.
Ishant Sharma bowled superbly under pressure, getting the ball to nip away and nip back with bounce. He got AB de Villiers inside edging an attempted steer to thirdman onto the stumps. AB de Villiers scored 103 (from 168 balls with 12 fours) while piling up a match-saving stand of 205 for the 5th wicket with Faf du Plessis. Duminy got bowled dragging his drive on the up off Mohammed Shami onto his stumps.
Just when South Africa got back into a winning position through the pair of Faf du Plessis and Vernon Philander, Ajinkya Rahane changed that through a brilliant run out under pressure. Faf du Plessis was Rahane’s victim having played a brave knock of 134 (from 309 balls with 15 fours). After Faf’s exit, South Africa gave away their run chase and played it safe for a draw despite needing only 16 more runs from 19 balls with three wickets in hand.
The Man of the Match award went to Virat Kohli for his 119 and 96 ahead of Faf du Plessis. The 2-Test match series will be decided by the second and final Test which starts on Boxing Day at Kingmead in Durban.
Video: India vs South Africa 1st Test: full Highlights