India stormed to one of their most memorable wins of all time amid historic scenes at the Wanderers, wrapping up a comprehensive 123-run victory on the fourth day of the first Test. Anil Kumble led an efficient mop-up operation, just as he'd done six months ago in another momentous game at Kingston, and put to rest a 14-year bogey of never winning a Test in South Africa.
Ashwell Prince resisted with a battling 97, and briefly threatened to pull off a miracle with the energetic Shaun Pollock, but eventually South Africa saving this game, let alone winning it, was a bridge too far. Pollock tried to hoick across the line once too often to the unrelenting Kumble - just like Dwayne Bravo had on the tense final day at Kingston
, heralding the end - and saw any remaining hope dashed, with the ball dislodging the off bail.
A couple of zipping deliveries from Kumble accounted for two more wickets - Andre Nel was late on a fizzing flipper while Prince had no answer to a yorker-length ball that rattled the base of leg stump. Zaheer returned, along with the new ball, to finish it off with Makhaya Ntini ballooning a simple catch to Virender Sehwag running from point to cover. It was a moment that signaled the breaking of a barrier and for the second time in as many Tests India's cricketers had etched their names in the history books.
With only half their side remaining, South Africa began the day needing a minor miracle. Zaheer's dismissal of Boucher, in the third over of the morning with one that carried on with the angle after pitching on leg stump, weakened them further. Pollock telegraphed his intentions the moment he entered, clipping a four off his pads and targeting Zaheer for special treatment. He hit him for 23 runs in the 12 balls he faced, a cameo that included a hooked six over fine leg and a crisp cover-drive three deliveries later.
With Prince staying put at the other end, and with the target whittled down to below 200, India endured some nervy moments. Pollock, when on 30, scampered a dangerous single only for Rahul Dravid to fumble at mid-on ; Prince swished at a few outside off but India's bowlers, as hard as they tried, couldn't summon the breakthrough. VRV Singh struggled with his length - he later couldn't get over a no-ball affliction - and minor niggles to Sreesanth and Zaheer, both of whom left the field, caused a few flutters.
But for the umpteenth time in his career Kumble proved to be the go-to man and ended South Africa's last line of resistance. Prince decided to go for broke, making room for himself and clattering a couple of fours to the off side, but he fell three short of a well-deserved hundred when he failed to read Kumble. Prince showed virtues that few other batsmen in his side displayed - gutsing it out amid the tumbling wickets and putting a price on his wicket - but his innings was submerged in India's wave of elation.