Dean Elgar leads by example as South Africa level series with India
Day 4 of 5: India 202 (KL Rahul 50; M Jansen 4-31) & 266 (A Rahane 58, C Pujara 53) v South Africa 229 (K Petersen 62, T Bavuma 51; SN Thakur 7-61) & 243-3 (D Elgar 96no). South Africa beats India by 7 weeks
South African captain Dean Elgar produced a heroic unbeaten 96 points to lead his side to a seven-wicket victory over India in the Wanderers’ second test in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Elgar defied a hostile Indian attack and bullet holes that hit him over difficult terrain to deliver a winning performance as he led a successful 240-point chase, rightly reaching a limit to secure the victory.
South Africa reached 243 for three late in a rain-limited fourth day to tie the series after India won the first test in Pretoria by 113 runs, the decisive match ahead in Cape Town, from Tuesday on.
The home side were at 118 for two overnight but had to wait as the first two sessions on Thursday were swept away by rain.
Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen finally resumed their chase at 3:45 p.m. local time under cloudy skies, the outcome still uncertain as the terrain should favor the formidable Indian attack.
But the two drummers continued their partnership and added another 57 points in the first hour of play as they faced tourist bowling, before Van der Dussen edged out Mohammed Shami for the first slip and was out for 40. .
South Africa still needed 65 to win when the wicket collapsed and could have quickly spiraled into trouble if Shardul Thakur had held up a catch when new batsmen Temba Bavuma hit the second ball he faced directly to the launcher.
Thakur couldn’t hold off a scathing shot and Bavuma took full advantage of his good fortune to finish 23 not eliminated.
But Elgar was the hero, showing a fierce fighting spirit and setting the example to give his young team an important and morale-boosting victory. He faced 188 balls, hit 10 limits and deserved a century.
It was the first time South Africa had beaten India at the Wanderers and kept alive their hopes of denying the world’s top-ranked team a first-ever series victory in South Africa.