India v South Africa, 2nd Test, Ahmedabad, 3rd day
April 5, 2008
India's worst home defeat in nearly 50 years
Stats highlights from the third - and as it turned out, last - day of the Ahmedabad Test
Stats highlights from the third - and as it turned out, last - day of the Ahmedabad Test.
Dale Steyn had another outstanding game, swelling his tally to 117 wickets after 22 Tests
The margin of victory - an innings and 90 runs - is South Africa's largest, in terms of innings wins, in a Test against India. Their previous best was an innings and 71, in Bangalore in 2000.
It was India's 13th innings defeat at home, but only three times had they lost by a bigger margin. The last time they suffered a heavier defeat at home was almost 50 years back, when Australia beat them by an innings and 127 runs in Delhi in 1959. (Click here for the list of India's 48 defeats at home.) It was also India's first innings defeat since August 2001, when Sri Lanka thrashed them in Colombo.
With this win, South Africa have a 8-8 win-loss record in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. There was a period, between 2003 and 2006, when they lost five out of eight matches, but since then they have regained their winning ways, beating Pakistan and India over the last seven months.
The win was also the 27th for Graeme Smith the captain, which puts him level with Hansie Cronje as South Africa's most successful captain. Cronje's wins came in 53 Tests, and he lost just 11 times; Smith needed 56 matches, and South Africa lost 15 times under his leadership. Both captains, though, achieved their 27th wins in similar fashion, with innings victories in India - Cronje's came in Bangalore in 2000.
Dale Steyn continues to be an outstanding match-winner. His match figures of 8 for 114 takes his wickets tally to 117 in 22 matches, at a superb average of 21.41. He has a fantastic record in the subcontinent too - 43 wickets in eight Tests at 21.09. His career strike rate of 35.6 balls per wicket is second in the all-time list of bowlers who have sent down at least 2000 balls in Tests.
Excluding extras, India's batsmen scored a total of 361 runs for 20 wickets in this Test. Their average of 18.05 runs per wicket is one of their lowest in a home Test in the last 18 years. Since 1990, only four times have they averaged fewer runs per wicket.
There wasn't much to cheer for the Indian batsmen, but some of them did manage a few runs today. Sourav Ganguly's 87 in the second innings is his highest Test score against South Africa, improving upon his previous best of 73 in Johannesburg in 1997. In 29 innings, Ganguly has scored six fifties against them, but South Africa and West Indies are the only two teams against whom he hasn't yet scored a Test century.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been outstanding as an ODI batsman, but he hasn't always replicated that form in Tests - the 52 he scored was his first half-century in 12 Test innings.
Irfan Pathan continued his impressive batting form, scoring 64 in the match without being dismissed. In his last 14 Tests, dating back to December 2005, he averages 39.26 with the bat; as a bowler, though, he has struggled during this period, taking just 34 wickets at 44.11.
S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.