On a rain-affected day, Skipper Dean Elgar stood tall when it mattered with an unbeaten 96 to guide his team to a famous victory over the Asian giants on the fourth day of the second Test. This was the host's first victory in six matches against India at the Wanderers stadium, marking a special start to the year.
South Africa win the second Test by 7 wickets.— BCCI (@BCCI) January 6, 2022
The series is now leveled at 1-1. #TeamIndia will bounce back in the third Test. 👍 👍 #SAvIND
Scorecard ▶️ https://t.co/b3aaGXmBg9 pic.twitter.com/s5z3Z01xTx
Runs from Temba Bavuma, Keegan Petersen, and from the skipper himself along with the performances of the pacers were what helped South Africa clinch the match. Valiant and heroic innings from the captain drew all the plaudits as he led the team to victory.
A seven-wicket haul by Shardul Thakur in the first innings and two fifty scores from Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in the second innings were the highlights for India. With the series level at 1-1. The series finale is set to take place in Cape Town on 11 January, Tuesday.
At the Wanderers in Johannesburg, South Africa defeated India for the first time in a Test match. Two of the five previous Tests India played here ended in wins, while the other three ended in draws. Wanderers was one of three venues where India had won five or more Tests without losing a match, the other two being Bourda in Georgetown (6) and Uppal in Hyderabad (5).
At home, South Africa successfully chased down two Fourth-innings targets, higher than the 240 runs they chased against India. Back in 1906, they overcame a 284-run target against England at the Old Wanderers in Johannesburg by chasing down 335 runs against Australia in Durban in 2002.
South Africa's chase of their target in Johannesburg ranks third among successful fourth-innings chases against India. Perth in 1977 saw Australia chase a 339-run target, while Delhi, in 1987, saw West Indies chase 276.
The last time India failed to defend a target of 150-plus in the fourth innings: 211 against South Africa in Cape Town in 2007. In these 15 years, a 150-plus target was set by India on 46 occasions, and it was successfully defended 33 times.
Before the match in Wanderers, both teams had 15 wins each in test cricket. With their latest victory by 8 wickets, the Proteas has leaped forward with a victory more in the red-ball format of the game.
Shardul Thakur now owns the third-best figures in an innings in a Test defeat by an Indian pacer. Kapil Dev’s 9/83 versus West Indies in 1983 takes the top spot, while Javagal Srinath’s 8/86 comes second.
Sometimes you just have to doff off your hat and say well played. Huge respect for Elgar. Was stranded on 86* as SA lost from a winning position at Joburg last time. This time gets his team home. Really admire his 'over my dead body' attitude. Take a bow Elgar and SA 🙌🏻 #SAvIND pic.twitter.com/opjqpGF5fG— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) January 6, 2022
The South African skipper's individual score in the Johannesburg chase. With four hundred, only one captain from South Africa had higher scores in successful Test chases - Graeme Smith. Elgar's three fifties in the fourth inning of Test cricket against India are the joint-most fifty-plus scores made by any batter against India in the fourth innings.
With the series in the balance, both teams have stepped up showing they have the right to lay claim for the trophy. With the teams evenly poised, and with the final match awaiting. Who do you think will the be an ultimate winner or will the final match end in a draw. Let us know your comments and thoughts below.
Cover Credits: SkySports