Vintage Bumrah helps India level series against South Africa

Cape Town: India eased to a seven-wicket win in the second Test against South Africa here on Thursday to level the two-match series. Set a target of just 79, India raced to victory in 12 overs as the Test ended after lunch on the second day.

Earlier, Aiden Markram scored the most combative hundred of his career amid a vintage Jasprit Bumrah morning spell.

Markram threw caution to the wind as he smashed his way to 106 off just 103 balls, singlehandedly steering Proteas to 176 all out in 36.5 overs at stroke of lunch and leaving India with a victory target of 79 on a spicy pitch.

The ball didn’t fly off the surface as much as it did on the opening day but with enough juice available to get movement off the surface, Bumrah (6/61 in 13.5 overs) from his back of length approach in the first essay reverted to a more traditional fuller length deliveries to set the alarm bells ringing for the Proteas.

This was his ninth five-wicket haul in Test cricket.

Sensing that he could soon run out of partners once David Bedingham (11) edged one behind the stumps and Kyle Verreynne misjudged the length while going for an unnecessary pull-shot, Markram started attacking the inexperienced Mukesh Kumar (2/56 in 10 overs) and Prasidh Krishna (1/27 in 4 overs), who has been the weakest link in India’s pace attack in his debut series.

With Indian skipper Rohit Sharma rightly setting an attacking field, Markram, found it easy to muscle the balls through the gaps as he hit 17 fours and two mighty sixes off Prasidh.

In the morning, a vintage Bumrah was in full bloom on a tailor-made surface.

Starting at 62 for three, South Africa quickly lost their middle-order to be 111 for 7 before Markram took charge in a 51-run stand with Rabada where he launched into every Indian bowler.

It finally took first innings hero Mohammed Siraj (1/31) to induce a mistimed heave from Markram, ensuring the lead didn’t cross the 100-run mark.