An insipid bowling performance on the fourth day by the Indian team meant South Africa notched up a remarkable victory by 7 wickets at Cape Town to win the third Test, to bag the three-match series 2-1. The victory completes a great comeback by the Proteas, who turned the tables on the Indians after losing the first Test match of the series in Centurion. Top order batter Keegan Petersen was the star of the show as he scored 82 invaluable runs in the second innings, while chasing a target of 212 runs. Petersen was his team’s highest scorer in the first innings also, as he had scored crucial 72 runs to ensure India managed to take a meagre lead of 13 runs.
Marco Jansen picked up 7 wickets in the match while Kagiso Rabada contributed with 6 wickets to ensure India’s below par batting performance in both the innings. Virat Kohli’s well-grafted knock of 79 had helped India post 223 runs in the first innings. The South Africans looked good at once stage to take a big first innings lead but a Jasprit Bumrah five-wicket haul dragged India back in the match and ensured they took a slender lead as the hosts were bowled out for 210.
But India’s batters showed terrible application on a pitch that had some pace and movement for the seamers. Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant stitched an important 94-run stand to take India out of trouble, but once Kohli was sent back for 29, Pant took it upon himself to take India’s lead beyond 200 runs, slamming a defiant century and remained unbeaten on 100. India’s lower order batters failed to contribute anything substantial.
India were eventually bowled out for 198, setting South Africa a target of 212 runs to win the match and the series.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were the big disappointments for India in the series as they failed to contribute when the team needed the veteran batters to.
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami were the stand-out bowlers for India in the series.
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