Sachin Tendulkar was left stranded unbeaten on 111 as India were bowled out for 459 in their 2nd innings, crashing to an innings-and-25-run beat to South Africa on the last day of the opening Test at Centurion Park.
Having struggled valiantly on days 3 and 4 to get themselves within touching distance of making their hosts bat again, their challenge faded with a whimper on the last morning as they added just five runs for their remaining two wickets.
Tendulkar scored 4 of them to move from 107 to 111 having reached his 50th Test century late on day four before Shanthakumaran Sreesanth was caught by AB de Villiers off Morne Morkel for 3 and Jaydev Unadkat 1 was caught by Ashwell Prince as Dale Steyn picked up his 4th wicket of the innings.
In all, Tendulkar faced 241 balls, hitting 13 fours and a six while Steyn returned four for 105 with a brace of wickets each for Morkel and Paul Harris.
South Africa owed their strong position in the match to bowlers Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn, who took seven wickets on the opening day and then superb batting from the top order when they replied on day two – Smith and Alviro Petersen also scoring half-centuries.
India’s fightback started on day 3 when openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag stroked half-centuries after Jacques Kallis scored a first Test double-century and AB de Villiers smashed a century in 75 balls – the quickest by a South African – to set up the declaration.
Tendulkar, along with MS Dhoni, who made 90, then batted for most of day four to keep India’s slim hopes of protecting the game alive.