Updated:Jan 14, 2022 6:53 pm
Keegan Petersen stars With 82, as underdogs South Africa beat India by seven wickets in the third and final Test to claim back the Freedom Series.
With the Series at one apiece, Cape Town was set for a mouthwatering decider at Newlands Cape Town it was India. who won the toss and elected to bat. However, despite Skipper Virat Kohli getting a gritty 79, the rest of the Indian top-order failed to get amongst the runs, as they were bowled out for a below-par score of 212.Embed from Getty Images
Rabada once again showed what a world-class bowler he is with 4-73.
Bumrah starred for India in South Africa’s first innings with 5-42.Embed from Getty Images
But Petersen’s 72, gave the Proteas a crucial deficit of just 13 runs.Embed from Getty Images
The Proteas attack made full use of it by dismissing both openers early.Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
The skipper tried to steady things in the middle.Embed from Getty Images
But neither Piuara nor Rahane could provide support for him at the other end.Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Rishabh Pant came out in a positive mood.
His partnership with Kohli of 94, clawed India back into the match.Embed from Getty Images
But the captain’s wicket gave the Proteas an opening, despite Pant’s heroics at the other end.Embed from Getty Images
Pant’s magnificent century gave India hope by setting the host a tricky target of 212.Embed from Getty Images
Elgar and Markram got the chase off to a decent start, with 23 runs on the board. What was until the right-hander went for an ambitious drive of Shami, and was brilliantly caught by KL Rahul at third slip.Embed from Getty Images
Then like in the second Test, the Petersen/Elgar partnership started to flourish again, with a stand of 78.
The Proteas Skipper also survived a close LBW off Ashwin, which to the naked eye looked close, but to India’s surprise, the ball was bouncing too much, according to hawk-eye.Embed from Getty Images
But in the penultimate over of Day Three, the left-hander strangled a leg-side delivery from Bumrah through to Pant, who took a good catch down the leg side.Embed from Getty Images
This was a huge boost for the Indians, as it gave them hope of pulling off a remarkable victory with Van der Dussen being the new man at the crease in the morning. However, the Proteas were still in the box seat, with 101-2 on the board, requiring a further 111 runs for victory.
Petersen brought up another 50 with a streaky boundary down to the third man.Embed from Getty Images
Rassie Van der Dussan got his innings going with some crunching drives.
He survived a review for being caught behind when his bat touched the ground, and to make matters worse for the Indians, Petersen was dropped by Pujara at first slip on 59. It was at this point that you felt that India’s chances of pulling off an unlikely win were rapidly disappearing, particularly with Petersen and Van der Dussen taking the game away from India.Embed from Getty Images
Shardul Thakur gave them a glimmer of hope at 155-3 when Petersen chopped a short and wide delivery onto his stumps for a brilliant 82.Embed from Getty Images
But van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma;’s partnership of 57 saw South Africa over the line, and complete a stunning series victory.Embed from Getty Images
“I have no comment to make on either. We understood what happened on the field and people on the outside don’t know the exact details of what goes on on the field,” It’s better for me to try and justify what we did on the field and say that we did not apply enough pressure on South Africa.’Virat Kohli-Times of India
‘”extremely proud of the boys responding brilliantly.” “We were thrown under the sword and grew massively in the last two Tests.” “Challenging your players within the group, characters as well. You need immense characters to stand up in these kinds of tough situations.
The way our bowling unit came in and operated throughout the last two Tests has been brilliant; throughout the series they’ve been brilliant. Sixty wickets in a Test series is quite a tough challenge for them but I threw down the challenge after the first game and the guys responded brilliantly.
We’ve got a young, talented group but the experience they’ve been gaining…in this environment every day we’re gaining this experience, which is brilliant for us. It was unreal to see how a group that doesn’t have the repertoire or names, how they could gel together and play as one. This is a proper unit that we’ve operated in and it’s a proper team, by no means I can single-handedly pick out players because everyone has played a big part in vital situations throughout the series. Extremely, extremely proud of this group.”Dean Elgar-ESPN Cricinfo
Man Of the Match & Series Keegen Petersen
Elgar also praised Petersen for a wonderful Series with the bat.
“He’s dominated domestic cricket, and it’s awesome to see him have a great series,” “Long may he grow. There’s lot of improvement from his point of view. The world is his oyster.”Dean Elgar-BBC SPORT
South Africa now climbs above India into the fourth spot. This is a damaging blow for India, who was the top-ranked side not so long ago and were favourites to win this Series. They now slide down into fifth place in the ICC ranking, and their dreams of winning three overseas Test Series have all but ended.
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