CAPE TOWN: Mohammed Siraj sent South Africa crashing to 55 all out as India went in search of a series-levelling win on the first day of the second Test at Newlands on Wednesday.

India were 111 for four at tea, a first innings lead of 56.

Siraj produced a sensational career-best spell of six for 15 as South Africa were bowled out before lunch.

India cruised into the lead in 9.4 overs, before the afternoon drinks break, but left-arm fast bowler Nandre Burger took three wickets in a hostile spell before tea to prevent India achieving total dominance.

South Africa’s total was their lowest in almost 92 years, since they were bowled out for 36 and 45 by Australia in a rain-affected pitch in Melbourne in February 1932.

It was the lowest total by any team in a Test against India, beating 62 by New Zealand in Mumbai in December 2021.

Siraj bowled superbly in an unchanged nine-over spell as South Africa’s decision to bat first backfired spectacularly.

Stand-in South African captain Dean Elgar, playing in his last Test, stressed the need for his team to start well as they defended a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

But it was India who controlled the morning’s play on a pitch which offered bounce and seam movement.

Siraj exploited the conditions superbly, with none of the batsmen looking comfortable against him.

He started South Africa’s collapse when he had Aiden Markram caught at second slip for two in his second over. He followed up by bowling Elgar for four in his next over.

Jasprit Bumrah had new cap Tristan Stubbs caught at short leg for three before Siraj took the next four wickets. -AFP