Keegan Petersen yesterday scored a superb 82 as South Africa completed a seven-wicket victory in the third Test and a 2-1 series win over world No. 1 India on a spiteful Newlands pitch having chased down their challenging target of 212.
It was just the fourth time in 133 years that a team had scored more than 200 in Cape Town to win, and follows on from South Africa’s epic seven-wicket victory in Johannesburg in the second Test when they needed 240 in the fourth innings.
Petersen, who was the leading scorer in the series with 276 runs, was the anchor for the hosts on a difficult wicket for batting, but there were also important unbeaten contributions from Rassie van der Dussen (41) and Temba Bavuma (32) as they put on 57 for the fourth wicket.
The result means India are still in search of a first Test series victory in South Africa having had high hopes when they won the opening match.
South Africa, who were underdogs for the series despite home advantage with their inexperienced side, had started the day on 101-2 and had plenty of alarms on the difficult pitch against the high-quality India seamers, who might have had more reward with better luck.
However, they only had themselves to blame when Cheteshwar Pujara dropped Petersen at first slip when the batsman had 59, a simple chance off the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah.
It might have brought a different complexion to the day, but South Africa rode that luck and Petersen looked in control before he chopped a Shardul Thakur delivery onto his stumps 40 minutes before lunch.
His 82 off just 113 balls followed a fine 72 in the first innings.
India were left hugely frustrated by the technology used for dismissal referrals and might have talked themselves into some trouble with their deliberate on-field comments into the stump microphones.
Their frustration threatened to boil over when they believed they had Van der Dussen caught behind off the bowling of Mohammed Shami.
India captain Virat Kohli sent the not-out decision for review, and although there was a spike on the ultra-edge technology, it was ruled the batsman had hit the ground.
AUSTRALIA V ENGLAND
AFP, HOBART, Australia
Travis Head yesterday scored a magnificent century to put Australia in command at stumps on the first day of the fifth and final Ashes Test against England as rain forced an early close in Hobart.
At the close of play, Australia were 241-6, with Alex Carey on 10 and Mitchell Starc on 0 after being sent in by England captain Joe Root.
Only 7.3 overs were possible in the night session, with a persistent misty rain falling.
Head came in with his side reeling at 12-3, but counterattacked brilliantly to reach his fourth Test century in just 112 balls, with 12 fours.
However, one ball after reaching his century, he chipped Chris Woakes to mid-off, where Ollie Robinson — who bowled only one over in the twilight session due to a sore back — took a simple catch.
Head’s 101 was a superb response to a much-changed England’s complete dominance in the first 10 overs.
England removed David Warner and Steve Smith for ducks, and Usman Khawaja for 6, and should have had Marnus Labuschagne, who was dropped by Zak Crawley on a duck.
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