Ashwin stars as Proteas fall to series defeat


South Africa suffered their first Test series defeat in nine years as they succumbed to a 124-run loss in the final session on the third day of the third Test against India in Nagpur on Friday.

India now lead the four-match series two-nil with one game still to play as the Proteas failed to chase down an almost insurmountable target of 310 in the final innings on a turning pitch.

Resuming the day on 32 for two, the visiting team lost opener Dean Elgar (18) and AB de Villiers (9) early on, both lbw to offspinner Ravi Ashwin, to be 58 for four.

Captain Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis showed some fight and resistance that was not seen before from Proteas in the series as they put on a partnership of 72 in 46.2 overs and tested India's patience.

Amla's solid defiance came to an end when he was caught in the slips off the bowling legspinner Amit Mishra, who also got rid of Du Plessis, clean bowled, to leave the Proteas on 135 for six and only a matter of time before the loss was confirmed.

Ashwin wrapped up the game, and the series, when he bowled Morne Morkel for four as South Africa were 185 all out in the final session of the day.

The 29 year-old Ashwin finished with figures of seven for 66 in 26.5 overs to go with his five wickets in the first innings.

It has been 15 series since the Proteas lost a Test series away from home, against Sri Lanka in 2006, and they can genuinely be proud of an amazing record that has now come to an end.

The fourth and final Test starts in Delhi on 3 December.