Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
13 Jan 2022
3:34 pm

UPDATE: Proteas chasing 212 to win third Test after Pant hits ton for India

Ken Borland

South Africa bowled well with Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen sharing the wickets.

India's Rishabh Pant struck a century on day three of the third Test against South Africa at Newlands on Thursday. Picture: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Marco Jansen took four wickets and Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada shared the other six for South Africa as India were bowled out for 198, leaving the Proteas with a target of 212 to win the series, on the third day of the third Test at Newlands on Thursday.

Rishabh Pant was the hero for India, the wicketkeeper/batsman having collected six fours and four sixes as he finished unbeaten on a pugnacious but brilliant 100 off just 139 deliveries.

Pant had changed the momentum of the game in the morning session, following the departure of Cheteshwar Pujara (9), brilliantly caught by a diving Keegan Petersen at leg-slip off Jansen on the second ball of the day, and Ajinkya Rahane (1), caught behind the wicket off Rabada in the second over of the day.

The left-handed Pant played with tremendously controlled aggression as he helped captain Virat Kohli steady the innings and take India from 58/4 to 130/4 at lunch.

Kohli and Pant took their stand to 94 after the break as Pant hit left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj for successive sixes over midwicket and long-off. But in the next over, Ngidi made the crucial breakthrough as he enticed Kohli, who had scored a defiant 29 off 143 deliveries, into edging a drive and Aiden Markram took a fantastic catch at second slip, leaping high to intercept the speeding ball.

Ngidi followed up that key strike with the wickets of the dangerous pair of Ravichandran Ashwin (7) and Shardul Thakur (5), both being caught behind the wicket.

His brother in arms Rabada then had Umesh Yadav caught behind for a duck and Jansen bounced out Mohammed Shami, also without scoring.

With the Proteas trying to keep Pant off strike, and the 24-year-old trying to muster as many late runs as he could, last man Jasprit Bumrah faced just a handful of balls in 17 minutes before skying Jansen to point.

Jansen finished with 4/36 in 19-and-a-half overs, giving him 19 wickets in his maiden Test series.

Ngidi claimed 3/21 in 14 overs in another pivotal performance, while Rabada took 3/53 to finish with 20 wickets in the three-match series.

Pant’s vital innings boosted India’s lead to such an extent that they were still able to set South Africa a testing target on a pitch which is still offering some assistance, by way of variable bounce, to the pacemen.