Top Sports News Headlines Today, October 7, 2019: Mohammed Shami took 5/35 as India beat South Africa by 203 runs in the first Test on Sunday. Chasing 395, South Africa were bowled out for 191 (63.5 overs) as Shami and Ravindra Jadeja (4-87) took nine wickets between them.
The pacer, who took zero wickets in the first innings, characteristically produced his best in the second essay, taking 5/35 to bring South Africa to their knees.
There is the case of the improved fitness that has definitely helped in Shami getting much sharper through the spells and able to rev it up on demand. At one stage in 2015, he weighed 93 kgs but he is now 75 and all the better for it.
READ MORE | Mohammed Shami: A second-innings wrecking ball
Leaving the ball only to see his off-stump blasted out of the turf, Faf du Plessis cut a silly figure. But his dismissal was as much as about his own indiscretion as his executioner Mohammed Shami’s skill to purchase lethal seam movement.
Shami prefers to bowl more back-of-length, not a conventional reverse-swing method, the logic being the fuller you bowl, the more exaggerated the movement could be. But he has mastered the art of getting seam movement from that length off the old ball—brought about by a combination of seam position, supple wrists, fluid release and relentless practice — which naturally befuddles batsmen.
Four of his five wickets were bowled dismissals. This is only the second time an Indian pacer has bowled out four batsmen in an innings – the only other instance being Jasprit Bumrah’s spell in the recent series vs West Indies.
Shami broke the spine of the South Africa middle order by taking the wickets of Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock.
Sarita Devi, the fourth-seeded Indian, who got a first-round bye, frittered away a strong start to bow out with a 0-5 loss. Sarita, a gold-medallist in the 2006 New Delhi edition of the showpiece, was chasing her maiden world medal in over a decade.
Former champion Sarita was knocked out of the World Women’s Boxing Championships after being upstaged by Russia’s Natalia Shadrina on a disappointing day for India.
Read more | Sarita Devi bows out of World Championships
With Lionel Messi scoring his first goal of the season to help Barcelona keep up with Real Madrid, Manchester City fell behind Liverpool by eight points, Juventus struck the first blow in the title race against Inter, the weekend was one packed with action in Europe.