New Delhi, India: Ajinkya Rahane hit the first century of the series before spinner Ravindra Jadeja ripped through South Africa’s line-up as India compounded the visitors’ misery on the second day of the fourth and final Test on Friday.
Jadeja picked up five wickets for 30 runs to help India bowl out the top-ranked tourists for 121 off 49.3 overs at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi.
The visitors, who have already lost the series, trail by 213 runs in the first innings. AB de Villiers waged a lonely battle, making 42 off 78 balls.
Left-armer Jadeja appeared to be on a roll, recording his fourth five-wicket haul in Tests to tighten the screw on the Proteas.
Paceman Umesh Yadav (2-32) gave India the key breakthrough by having opener Dean Elgar caught behind for 17 before uprooting the off-stump of J.P. Duminy for his 50th Test wicket.
Jadeja dismissed the other opener Temba Bavuma (22) and also removed skipper Hashim Amla, who nicked behind to the wicketkeeper.
Amla scored just three from 34 balls, in a yet another single figure score on what has been a miserable tour for him.
Jadeja grabbed three more wickets in fading light, much to the delight of a sizeable crowd in the Indian capital.
Ravichandran Ashwin (2-26) and Ishant Sharma (1-28) also joined the party, helping India end the day on a high.
The hosts were bowled out for 334 five overs into the post-lunch session with recalled paceman Kyle Abbott taking two wickets in three balls to send back Ashwin (56) and Sharma (zero).
It was the second career five-wicket haul for Abbott, who had picked three wickets on the opening day.
After resuming at the overnight 231-7, India added 103 runs while losing three wickets, including that of Rahane (127).
Rahane reached his fifth Test century and his first on home soil with a classic straight drive off Abbott.
The stylish right-hander, on 89 overnight, raised his arms in celebration before waving his bat towards cheering fans.
No batsman had scored a century in an otherwise low-scoring series which India have sealed already after winning the first and third Tests.
Rahane thrived on the Kotla track, which seemed to have evened out after offering inconsistent bounce and turn to bowlers on the opening day.
His fine innings came to an end when he handed a straightforward catch to de Villiers in the covers off leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
His 127 runs came off 215 balls and was studded with 11 fours and four sixes.
Rahane exhibited crackling form in the first session, lofting off-spinner Dane Piedt for two sixes in three balls, including one that sailed over the long-off fence.
He also shared 98 runs with Ashwin, helping India steady the boat after they were struggling at 139-6 at one stage.
Ashwin, the leading wicket-taker of the series with 26 scalps, showed his skill with the bat as well, reaching his sixth Test half-century with a six off Tahir.