Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
14 Jan 2022
1:45 pm

Proteas seal stunning 2-1 series win against India

Ken Borland

Following an excellent bowling display, South Africa reached their target of 212 with rookie batter Keegan Petersen leading the way.

Keegan Petersen of South Africa scored another impressive 82 runs on day four of the third Test against India in Cape Town on Friday, helping the side to a victory and series triumph. Picture: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

South Africa produced a second top-class fourth-innings run chase in successive weeks as they beat India by seven wickets in the third Test at Newlands on Friday, securing a thrilling and unexpected 2-1 series win over the world’s number one ranked side.

Set a testing target of 212 to win, Keegan Petersen, a batting revelation in this series as he finished as the leading run-scorer (276 @ 46.00), scored a classy 82 off 113 deliveries, with 10 fours, to provide a solid foundation for the chase.

Following a 78-run partnership with captain Dean Elgar (30) on the third evening, Petersen then settled the nerves on the fourth morning as he and Rassie van der Dussen weathered a torrid early burst from Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah to put on 54 for the third wicket.

A composed unbeaten partnership of 57 either side of lunch between Van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma then sealed a tremendous victory for the Proteas.

The growth in confidence in the South African top-order, having lost Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis over the last couple of years, was apparent as Van der Dussen calmly went to 41 not out and Bavuma played some marvellous strokes as he made light of the pressure and cruised to 32 not out off 58 balls.

South Africa ended the morning session on 171/3, still needing 41 runs to win after they had begun the fourth day on 101/2.

Van der Dussen came to the wicket to join Petersen, on 48, following the dismissal of captain Elgar on what became the final ball of the third day.

The Proteas pair had to come through a torrid test with Shami swinging the ball around corners and Bumrah typically probing. But Petersen went to his third half-century in four innings with an edge through the vacant gully region.

Petersen was then reprieved on 59 when Cheteshwar Pujara dropped a comfortable catch at first slip off Bumrah.

Some relief came when Shami was surprisingly replaced by Umesh Yadav after bowling just four overs; the pressure began to ease and the runs started to flow.

Petersen eventually fell when he was rushed by a ball that zipped back into him off the pitch, chopping Shardul Thakur into his stumps. The 28-year-old’s career-best 82 was further proof of his class and silencing the naysayers when it comes to how richly he deserves his place in the team.

India continued to have no luck with DRS, calling for reviews against Van der Dussen for both caught behind and lbw. The former remained with the on-field decision as ultra-edge could not distinguish whether the ball had hit the bat at the same time as the bat scraped along the ground, while the lbw review showed Umpire’s Call with the ball hitting the top edge of leg-stump.