Bhuvneshwar gives India dream start, emulates Kapil Dev

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 05, 2018 18:44 hrs

Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck with the third ball of the series and then struck again in his next two overs to give India a flying start against South Africa in the first Test match at Newlands.

The medium pacer took three wickets in each of his three successive overs as India were all over South Africa at the start of day's play.

In the process, the medium pacer emulated legendary former India skipper Kapil Dev who got a wicket off the first ball of the very first over during the 1992-93 series against South Africa.

Kapil dismissed Jimmy Cook at Durban and after 26 years, Bhuvneshwar achieved the feat by packing off Dean Elgar for a duck.

In yet another overseas record, Bhuvneshwar became only the third bowler to take three wickets in the first three overs since 2001.

James Franklin of New Zealand achieved the feat against Zimbabwe in 2005 and in 2017 Pat Cummins took three wickets in three overs against Bangladesh.

South Africa's decision to bat first backfired as Bhuvneshwar opening the bowling for India removed Deal Elgar for a duck with the third delivery of the match. Bhuvneshwar started off by straying down the leg side in his first two deliveries.

However, the medium pacer pitched one around the off-stump, squared up Elgar who nicked behind the stumps.

Soon, South Africa were in shambles as it was Hashim Amla who gave Wriddhiman Saha an easy catch and walked back to the pavilion. Bhuvneshwar's fiery spell saw South Africa reeling at 12/3.

However, former captain Ab de Villiers' unbeaten half-century steered South Africa to safety as he along with current skipper Faf du Plessis resisted India's charge.

De Villiers made a fine fifty and showed the rest of the batsmen how to bat on a difficult pitch. While a pumped up Bhuvneshwar was searching for more wickets, de Villiers released the pressure by smacking four boundaries in an over to milk 17 runs.

Tottering at 12/3, de Villiers and du Plessis joined forces and the right-handed pair denied India any more inroads.

Making his Test debut, pacer Jasprit Bumrah surprised De Villiers with a ripper in his very second over but that was all the Indians could offer as the right-hander went on to slam his 41st Test fifty.

De Villiers, who returned to Test cricket after a gap of two years, didn't look perturbed in the precarious situation his team was in and consumed only 55 balls to reach his 50, laced with 10 hits to the fence.

Du Plessis, on the other hand, was happy to play the second fiddle to his senior partner as he quietly notched his half-century.

However, Bumrah had the last laugh as the debutant cleaned up de Villiers post Lunch to pick his maiden Test wicket. Soon Hardik Pandya ended du Plessis stay at the crease as India bounced back to make further inroads.

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