CAPE TOWN – Seamer Vernon Philander took career-best figures as rampant South Africa claimed a 72-run victory over India on a gripping fourth day of the first test on Monday.
Set 208 for victory, India were skittled out for 135 in 42.4 overs in their second innings on a lively wicket with Philander the chief destroyer, recording figures of 6-42 for his first five-wicket haul in tests since 2013.
India had looked to seize control of the test when they bowled South Africa out for 130 in the morning session, but found the home attack on the seamer-friendly wicket too much of a challenge.
After day three had been a washout, 18 wickets fell in 64 overs on Monday, all going to seamers.
South Africa resumed on 65 for two, but were only able to double their score before they lost their last eight wickets.
Mohammed Shami (3-28) and debutant Jasprit Bumrah (3-39) were the pick of the Indian bowlers and there were two wickets for Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-33).
Only an attacking 35 from De Villiers stemmed the tide to a degree before he was the last man out.
South Africa, without injured seamer Dale Steyn who will miss the rest of the series with a heel problem, weathered a first-wicket stand of 30 for India in reply, before the wickets began to fall at regular intervals.
Shikhar Dhawan (16) sparred a rising deliver from Morne Morkel (2-39) to gully.
Philander picked up his first wicket as Murali Vijay (13) edged to third slip.
Cheteshwar Pujara (four) became Morkel’s second victim with the score on 39, before Indian captain Virat Kohli (28) took the attack to the South Africans.
He was undone playing across a straight delivery from Philander.
Rohit Sharma (10) was bowled off the inside edge by Philander before the tourists’ first-innings hero Hardik Pandya edged Kagiso Rabada to De Villiers in the slips.
Rabada claimed the wicket of Wriddhiman Saha (eight) with the last ball before tea.
Philander then took three wickets in four balls to seal victory after a seventh-wicket stand of 49 between top-scorer Ravichandran Ashwin (37) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (13 not out) had briefly sent jitters through the Newlands crowd.
South Africa are hosting India in a three-test series this month, with matches to come in Pretoria, starting on Saturday, and Johannesburg.