Johannesburg (TIP)- South Africa captain Dean Elgar produced a heroic unbeaten innings of 96 runs to lead his team to a seven-wicket victory over India in the second Test at the Wanderers on January 6.
Elgar defied a hostile Indian attack and body blows from balls that struck him on a difficult pitch to deliver a match-winning performance as he led a successful 240-run chase, fittingly hitting a boundary to secure the victory.
South Africa reached 243/3 near the end of a rain-restricted fourth day to level the series after India had won the first Test in Pretoria by 113 runs, with the deciding match to come in Cape Town, starting on January 18.
The home team were 118/2 overnight but had to wait as the first two sessions on Thursday were washed out by rain.
Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen eventually resumed their run chase under cloudy skies with the outcome still in the balance as the pitch was expected to favour the formidable India attack.
But the two batsmen continued their partnership and added 57 more runs in the first hour’s play as they took on the tourists’ bowling, before Van der Dussen edged Mohammed Shami to first slip and was out for 40. South Africa still needed 65 to win when the wicket went down and might have quickly spiralled into trouble had Shardul Thakur held onto a catch when new batsmen Temba Bavuma hit the second ball he faced straight back at the bowler. Thakur was unable to hold onto a stinging shot, and Bavuma went on to make full use of his good fortune to finish 23 not out.
But Elgar was the hero, showing a dogged fighting spirit and leading by example to hand his young team an important and morale-boosting win. He faced 188 balls, hitting 10 boundaries, and was deserving of a century.
It was the first time South Africa had beaten India at the Wanderers.
After their victory, South Africa have made a huge leap in the World Test Championship points table. The side was reeling at 8th position after the loss to India in Centurion, but have now reached within touching distance of the visitors.
With 50 percentage points, the Proteas stand fifth on the table. India, however, endured a loss of 9.07 PCT but retained their fourth place in the tally.
Australia and Sri Lanka sit comfortably at the top of the table with 100 PCT respectively, as both sides are undefeated in this cycle of the Championship so far. The Pat Cummins-led side are enjoying a brilliant run in the Ashes series, having secured rather straightforward victories in all of their first three Tests. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, had defeated West Indies 2-0 in the home Test series in November-December.