The Proteas have secured a massive 2-1 test series victory over India, by claiming a 7-wicket win at Six Gun Grill Newlands.
A result was looming going into the fourth day of play. The match hung in the balance – poised to swing either way. However, the loss of Dean Elgar the evening before put India on the front foot. Keegan Petersen looked unfazed by the extra responsibility. He continued to do his thing out in the middle, but again fell short of that maiden Test century.
At the start of play the 28-year old, along with Rassie van der Dussen kept the scoreboard ticking, but that stopped with Petersen’s departure.
Van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma’s partnership started slow but soon picked up steam. The two found a rhythm and came out of the lunch break keen to end things quickly. That they did, with Bavuma hitting the winning runs just 30-minutes after the resumption of play.
Not the best of starts
While the series started off on a horrible note for South Africa, they showed real grit to turn it around.
It looked like India were going to have a jolly good time in our beautiful country. Their massive 113-run victory at Centurion was a massive statement, but the visitors failed to emulate that result.
It was touch-and-go for the Proteas in the second Test. Dean Elgar had to put in a massive shift to turn the tide. The Captain doing just that, with their 7-wicket win at SuperSport Park ensuring a thrilling finish to the series here in the Mother City. And boy was it.
The big takeaway is the fact that the future for Test Cricket in South Africa is bright. The two newcomers to the squad produced massive performances and staked a claim for their spot in this Protea outfit. Petersen and Marco Jansen (21) were the most consistent performers in this series. Petersen ultimately named both Player of the Match and Player of the Series. Though Jansen probably had an outside chance for the latter.
Hard work will need to be done by the rest of the squad ahead of the Proteas 2-match Test Series in New Zealand.
Before the South Africans head down to Aotearoa, they first have to shift to the shorter format of the game. Three One Day International wait to be decided, and all indications are that it’s going to be an absolute cracker of a series.
It’s another low-scoring thriller, which has been the trend in this 3-match Test series between the Proteas and India. And, after all that cricket South Africa, who are the number six ranked test team ICC’s Test rankings, are just 111-runs from winning a series against the top-ranked test playing country in the world.
It has been a proper day of Test Cricket for both nations, with the match swinging constantly. The Proteas started the day as favourites. Especially after they had India down four wickets with just 58-runs on the scoreboard.
Pant and Virat Show
Indian captain Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant then almost took the game out of the South Africans hands by forming a massive 94-run partnership. That brought about a hush over Newlands, which was only broken when Kohli was sent packing. Lungi Ngidi the man responsible for the turnaround with a massive spell. A spell that brought about two more wickets.
While Pant managed to get to a 4th career century, he ran out of partners. It saw him end his innings unbeaten on 100. The rest of the Indian batters, except for Kohli, left a lot to be desired. India all-out for 198, with the Proteas chasing 211 for victory.
A positive start
The South Africans chase is well and truly underway. Dean Elgar and Keegan Petersen formed a solid partnership (78).
Elgar did survive an early shout for LBW. Though he was given out, the captain asked the 3rd umpire to have a check. Hawke eye revealed that the ball would’ve missed the leg-stump completely.
The South African captain could, unfortunately not see the day through, as he lost his wicket with the final delivery of the day. That means the fate of the series now rests on Keegan Petersen’s shoulders.
At Stumps, South Africa are on 101 for 2 (29.4) and need another 111-runs for victory.
Petersen – 48* (61)
Elgar – 30 (96)
Jasprit Bumrah – 1/29 (9.4)