3rd Test, Cape Town, Jan 11 - 14 2022, India tour of South Africa
223 & 198
(target 212)210 & 212/3
South Africa won by 7 wickets
Player Of The Match
72 & 82
Player Of The Series
276 runs

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    South Africa win!

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    Lunch: SA 41 away from victory

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    India hit back

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    KP gone! Thakur strikes!

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    vdD and KP... ftw?

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    South Africa's KP

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    Four dots

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Updated 14-Jan-2022 • Published 14-Jan-2022

As it happened - South Africa vs India, 3rd men's Test, Cape Town, 4th day

By Alagappan Muthu

South Africa win!

South Africa never ever gives up a Test match. They were, not so long ago, the greatest travelling team in the whole world. They remain experts of the blockathon. And when you have the courage - the audacity - to bat out entire days of cricket, a target of 212 in a home game is nothing to worry about.

That first Test defeat in Centurion now looks like an anomaly. South Africa went into it after six months in the red-ball wilderness. The rust they were still shaking off was deeply obvious on that first day's play. Since then, they have rallied and rallied hard. Lungi Ngidi said this wasn't a team of superstars. He won't be able to keep saying that if they keep playing like this.

They've discovered a beaut in Keegan Petersen. And another in Marco Jansen.

They've lost Quinton de Kock to retirement but their other senior players are all fired up to play Test cricket again.

Dean Elgar is the perfect man to lead them. In Temba Bavuma, he has a fine middle-order fighter. This team may be in transition but there is light at the end of this tunnel.


Lunch: SA 41 away from victory

South Africa picked up 70 runs in the morning session of day four. But far more importantly they've only lost one wicket.

India threatened to take a lot more than that, but Rassie van der Dussen in particular has been utterly stoic.

Keegan Petersen, the top scorer of the series, has taken them to the doorstep of victory. An 82 off 113 that will be talked about for years to come.

India's bowlers are coming up short - literally. Like it was in Jo'burg, South Africa's taller quicks were able to extract more from this surface. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur - while they have been getting sideways movement - have not been able to produce the kind of alarming bounce that had made batting so difficult all through this Test match.


Bavuma breaks free


The target is under 50 now.

Temba Bavuma being out there when the winning runs are scored would be such vindication.

He was the first Black African batter to score a Test match century for South Africa. That was back in January 2016. He's come close a few times - a seventy here, an eighty there - but it's been six years and he hasn't added to that count.

He's still only got one century in 46 Test matches.

South Africa have kept the faith in him. They're a side in transition. They need senior players to guide them through it. A 30-40 here would feel like a century if it results in a win.


India hit back


India have their wicket.

The runs have dried down.

The noise is back up.

"Just the keeper and the bowlers left, boys" says Virat Kohli

All of whom are averaging around 15 in Test cricket.

That four took South Africa to 152 for 2 in the 44th over.

They've made only five runs in a further seven overs.


KP gone! Thakur strikes!

Just as their spirits were sagging, Shardul Thakur produces the breakthrough.

A drag-on from Keegan Petersen and he slumps over his bat in utter disbelief.

It shows how much he wanted to be out there when the winning runs were scored. He batted as if he deserved to be. Playing only his fifth Test match, batting at the crucial No. 3 position, he has been this series' top-scorer and with 82 off 113 he may still have done enough for South Africa to win this game.


vdD and KP... ftw?

The noise is dying out there.

India came out at the start of the day full of life.

Virat Kohli got in the face of the batters. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami were beating the edges for fun.

The wicket seemed like only a matter of time.

Well, it's been an hour and 15 minutes and South Africa are still only two down. And better yet, their target is a mere 57 runs away.

All credit to Keegan Petersen, who has looked all class, and Rassie van der Dussen, who is simply willing himself to be out there. It's brilliant. Especially, that low backlift to make sure he can bring it down in time to protect his stumps.

India's frustration at the lack of wickets resulted in their bowlers going in search for them - the odd one that goes a little too full, the other one that goes a little too leg side. van der Dussen has profited from that and right now he's playing as important a hand as Keegan Petersen (82 off 111) in the context of this Test match


SA hanging tough

16 false shots in 7.2 overs from South Africa in the first half hour. Shows you that it's still tough out there. Target now 86 runs away. And they still have their set batter out there. Keegan Petersen 59. Oh, but he could have been gone! Pujara drops him at first slip!

Virat Kohli on the mic again

Rassie van der Dussen survives a DRS for caught behind.

It seems fair enough, the bat grazed the ground, which made the sound as ball passed it.

Kohli goes up to umpire Erasmus for a little chat.

Then as he walks back, he engages van der Dussen.

"You go after someone who is five years younger than you?" he says referring to the Johannesburg Test, when van der Dussen, at short leg, sledged Rishabh Pant moments before his wicket, "Come on Sham, nick him off, nick him off."


We've been here before

Series decider in Cape Town

India took first-innings lead

SA target just over 200

A wicket lost by SA at stumps in the 4th innings

A debatable umpiring call

If any of this feels like it's already happened before, it's because it has.

Back in 2006-07.

Sachin Tendulkar was the man caught up in the umpiring storm, given out lbw when it looked like he wasn't

South Africa won that Test by five wickets

They have eight to play with here.

Hat tip to our stats man Sampath Bandarupalli for spotting this.


South Africa's KP

There is a kind of easy grace to Keegan Petersen. It's not easy to explain but picture Rohit Sharma and the shots he plays. Glorious shots with the bare minimum of effort.

There was one in the 33rd over. It's only a single but if anyone bothered to take a picture of the positions Petersen got into to play his on-drive, the makers of the cricket manual might be interested in it.

The ball is swinging into him, trying to cramp him. He sees it early. So he doesn't commit on the front foot. He has time to angle the foot away so that it doesn't impede the flow of a straight bat coming down on the ball.

There's no anger in the shot. There's no venom in the act.

There is just perfection.

Head over the ball. Soft hands holding a straight bat.

He's a late bloomer. He's 28. But he might be looking at a 10+year career.

247 ... and counting. Keegan Petersen, playing only his fifth Test, is the top-scorer in a series of heavyweights.

Four dots

India are up for this. Their bowlers are up for this. The first four balls of the morning are various kinds of unplayable.

The first from Bumrah is the sucker ball, and van der Dussen was only a few inches away from nicking off.

The second is a hooping inswinger. van der Dussen was preparing to leave the ball - because it began from so wide outside off - but by the time it reaches him it strikes him somewhere near the box.

The third, which is the start of the 31st over, is from Mohammed Shami and he beats Keegan Petersen with seam movement away from the bat.

The fourth is action replay. Angled in. Pitching on off stump. Nipping away past the batter's defensive push.

The challenge is clear for South Africa but they aren't shying away. Petersen has 50 now. His third in only his fifth Test match.



Daryll Cullinan: 'For too long Virat has got away with behaviour that is unacceptable'
Cullinan: Kohli has got away with unacceptable behaviour for too long

For 29 years, South Africa have never lost a Test series to India at home. They are 111 runs away from protecting that proud record. But if that feels like it's easy, remember that this is a Test match played on the bowlers' terms.

There is wicked bounce.

There is sideways movement.

India have a deep and varied bowling attack.

South Africa have Keegan Petersen on 48 not out.

There is plenty in this game to keep everyone engaged, but it became all the more heated last evening when Dean Elgar was reprieved with the score on 60 for 1.

'I'll leave it for match referee to have a look' - Mhambrey on Elgar's DRS reprieve
I'll leave it for the match referee - India bowling coach Mhambrey on Elgar reprieve

Virat Kohli and company felt there were forces working against them, primarily the broadcaster, which is really not the case.

A DRS on an lbw decision revealed R Ashwin's offbreak was bouncing over the stumps. That's not completely out of the realm of possibility on this Newlands pitch where the ball was TAKING OFF from a good length.

There are those who still can't believe what happened. The umpire who made the on-field deciison - Marais Erasmus - was heard saying the words "That's impossible" as the HawkEye projection played out on the big screen.

Remember, the ball-tracking technology is authorised by HawkEye, an independent body, which relays the data to the host broadcaster, in this case SuperSport.

In any case, India's focus has to be on picking up the eight wickets they still need. They can't be distracted. They simply can't be distracted.

PS - Happy Pongal to everyone who's celebrating!

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