Elgar-Petersen partnership puts South Africa close to victory

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CAPE TOWN: South Africa’s captain – Dean Elgar alongside Keegan Petersen, put on a crucial 78-run partnership to put the home side on the brink of victory over India at stumps on day three of the ongoing third Test.

South Africa needs 111 runs to clinch the series. Petersen (48*) and Rassie van der Dussen will now resume the run chase for the home side at 101/2 on the fourth day.

Earlier, the duo of Elgar and Petersen looked to stretch their partnership into the fourth day, but, Jasprit Bumrah’s brilliant outswinger forced the South African captain to walk back to the pavilion for his individual score of 30. Elgar faced 96 balls and hit three boundaries.

Petersen, on the other hand, looks solid with his unbeaten 48 off 61 balls, laced with seven boundaries.

For India, Mohammed Shami and Bumrah shared one wicket apiece on the third day’s play.

Earlier, at the commencement of the third day of the ongoing Test, India resumed their innings at 57/2. The side, however, halted by a poor start as Cheteshwar Pujara walked back to the pavilion on the second ball of the day after failing to add a run to his overnight score of nine. Soon after, in the next over, Ajinkya Rahane departed after managing to score just one run off nine deliveries.

Indian captain – Virat Kohli, alongside the wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant, looked to anchor the innings. The pair added a crucial 94-runs partnership before Kohli departed after scoring a highly defensive 29 off 143 balls.

Following Kohli’s departure, the men in blue began to lose wickets at an alarming rate, but, Pant stood firm and kept the scoreboard ticking single-handedly. The left-handed batter went on to score his fourth Test century and also became the first Asian wicketkeeper to score a Test hundred in South Africa.

Pant remained not-out for his magnificent 100 off 139 balls, laced with six boundaries and four sixes as the touring side lost all their 10 wickets following Bumrah’s departure after bagging a duck. As a result, India, bundled out for 198 in the second innings; setting a 212-runs target for the home side.

For the proteas, Macro Jensen starred with the ball; taking four wickets, while Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada claimed three wickets each. -Agencies