Lungi Ngidi gives India batsmen a hiding at Centurion, says he just ‘stuck to basics’

Lungi Ngidi took six for 39 in India’s second innings to script South Africa’s 135-run win in the second Test at Centurion. He picked seven wickets on his debut Test.

cricket Updated: Jan 17, 2018 16:37 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times, Centurion
India vs South Africa,Lungi Ngidi,Centurion
South African pacer Lungi Ngidi (L) celebrates the dismissal of Indian batsman Hardik Pandya (not pictured) during the fifth day of the second Test match between South Africa and India at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.(AFP)

Lungi Ngidi made his debut at home a memorable affair when he took a six-wicket haul that broke India’s will in their chase of 287 on the fifth day of the second Test in Centurion on Wednesday. (HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)

Just 21, Ngidi was drafted in the squad after Dale Steyn’s injury but Chris Morris was tipped to play in the second Test. South Africa however stayed true to their strategy of playing four pacers in the summer to surprise a few by picking the young right-arm pacer Ngidi.

“I’m chaffed and very happy. It’s been a quick turnaround for me. There’s been some good form in franchise cricket. When I got the call out I felt I was in good form. Luckily enough, it (the debut) was on my home ground. The support was great,” said Ngidi, who was voted Man of the Match at SuperSport Park.

Lungi Ngidi didn’t disappoint. After dismissing Parthiv Patel in the first innings, Ngidi came back to bowl a devastating spell on the evening of the fourth day to shatter India’s dream of winning this Test.

Of greatest value of course was the scalp of India captain Virat Kohli, who was done in by a delivery that angled into him without much bounce.

South African bowler Lungi Ngidi (L) celebrates the dismissal of Indian batsman Hardik Pandya (not in picture) during the fifth day of the second Test in Centurion on Wednesday. (AFP)

On Wednesday morning, the first wicket Ngidi added to his account was that of Hardik Pandya. Trying the ramp shot off a very short and wide delivery, Pandya just managed a small poke that Quinton de Kock held with one hand.

“I stuck to the basics you know. The odd one that nipped back was getting the wickets. This definitely wasn’t the fastest SuperSport pitch but we had to make do with what we were given. We pretty much put them (India) under pressure,” the rookie pacer said.

R Ashwin was the next batsman to go, nicking at a delivery that was shaping away. Mohammed Shami put on a show for the sparse crowd but Ngidi finally had his fifth wicket by firing in short and managing a healthy edge off his bat. Lungi Ngidi then dismissed Jasprit Bumrah to complete his six-wicket haul.

“He (Ngidi) is very exciting, like I said before the Test match I had heard a lot of good things about him. Mark Boucher and a lot of other good cricket brains speak very highly of him,” South Africa’s head coach Ottis Gibson said. “He has come in and settled very well.”

South Africa won the first match of the three-Test series by 72 runs in Cape Town.

First Published: Jan 17, 2018 16:03 IST