South Africa to end the three-match Test series against India, after restricting the visitors to 35/3 at the end of play on day 4 at SuperSport Park yesterday.
After starting on 90/2 and a second innings lead of 118, the Proteas took advantage and set India an enormous target, with AB D Villiers striking the ball as best as ever, and with him Dean Elgar who was as plucky and dogged as ever.
That plan though didn’t go to script, as Mohammed Shami was finding good areas and invariable bounce from the unusual SuperSport Park wicket. Shami got one to bounce a little bit more and caught the shoulder of de Villiers’ bat, and he was out caught behind for a well-made 80.
The Indian seamer was in a wicket-taking mood, and this time he induced a mistimed pull shot from Elgar on 61, which found the safe hands of KL Rahul in the deep. Shami wasn’t done yet, and in a bizarre set of four consecutive deliveries bowled at Quinton de Kock, three of them found the edge for boundaries, and the fourth one eventually carrying to Parthiv Patel behind the stumps.
South Africa were reeling at this stage on 163/5 and a slender lead of 191. At the other end, Captain Faf du Plessis was grafting away, and found a good partner in Vernon Philander, and together took South Africa’s lead to 237 before Philander was out for 26.
The end of Philander meant that du Plessis was on the quest for quick runs to try and boost his side’s advantage, but was caught by Jasprit Bumrah off his own bowling for 48. The Proteas were bowled out for 258, and set India a target of 287 for victory.
Their run chase failed to get going and in deteriorating conditions, lost three wickets including the big wicket of Virat Kohli for 5.
Dean Elgar said that, the wicket of Kohli was huge for his side in their hopes of victory. “I’m sitting here with a smile on my face because now Virat is one less talented player that we have to deal with tomorrow. So, he is a big wicket but there are seven other wickets we still need to get tomorrow.”
The opening batsman also said that their fast bowlers have a height advantage saying, “We have three very tall guys that all bowl over 145kmph and they’ve been able to generate that uneven bounce, so they are going to be crucial for us tomorrow