In the India vs. South Africa test series, India had won the first Test by 113 runs, and South Africa responded by beating India in the second Test by 7 wickets. The stage was set for the decider for the series. Newlands was the location, and both teams were ready to fight it out.
India was first to bat. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, the openers, were dismissed cheaply, for 12 and 15 runs respectively. Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, the two seniors, were batting at the crease with India at 33/2. They produced a 60 run partnership until Pujara was dismissed for a quick 43 off 77. Kohli was also looking in good touch. Next, Ajinkya Rahane, who has been in poor form, flopped again, adding only 9 runs. Kohli continued batting, but there was a veritable procession at the other end as nobody stayed at the crease long enough to make a mark. The highest scorer after that was Rishabh Pant, with 27 runs. But the star was Virat Kohli, with 79 runs, to take India to a below-par 223. Once again, we were not able to set a good platform, as most of the top orders crumbled.
At the start of South Africa’s innings, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami bowled accurately. Dean Elgar felt the pressure, and tried to drive the ball, but could only manage an edge to Pujara at 1st slip. The nightwatchman, Keshav Maharaj was sent in, and played valiant innings of 25, far exceeding anyone’s expectations. For South Africa, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Maharaj, and Keegan Petersen were all able to get good starts but were not able to convert them into big scores. Only Petersen capitalized on his start, while the rest all perished for under 30 runs. Petersen made 72, playing the same role that Virat did for India.
When India started their second innings, they had a lead of 13 runs and looked to build on it to set a fighting total. Once again, though, all of the top order collapsed, but Pant was finally able to stand up. Pant slammed his way to a century, his most notable partner being Kohli, who played a painful 29 off 143. After Kohli’s departure, nobody else could give Pant adequate support, and he remained not out. Pant’s 100 gave South Africa a target of 210.
For South Africa, Aiden Markram was the first to get out again, for 16 runs. Elgar and Petersen once again proved to be the match-winning partnership for SA. However this time Elgar was hit on the pads on R Ashwin’s bowling. India appealed heavily, and the umpire gave it out. Elgar reviewed, but the Indian players looked confident that it was out. The ball hit Elgar below the knee-roll and looked plumb. However, the DRS showed the ball was going over the stumps. The decision was very hard to believe.
The umpire was quoted as saying, “That’s impossible!”
Kohli and Ashwin were furious. Kohli stalked up to the stump mic and said, “Don’t hit them on the pads, boys. Either stumps or caught behind, that’s it. Real experts sitting in the DRS column, boys. Different ball has been shown for tracking, lads.”
Ashwin, the bowler at the time said, “Surely, find better ways to win Supersport (broadcaster).”
Experts of the game such as Brad Hogg, Australian chinaman bowler, couldn’t believe that Elgar survived.
Rishabh Pant said, “Apna kaam karte rahenge (let’s keep doing our own work).”
However, Elgar got out soon after, caught behind off Bumrah. Petersen went on his way, scoring 82 vital runs to lead his team to victory. Rassie van der Dussen scored 41, and Bavuma scored 32, to give South Africa the win and the series. Once again the Indian batting was underwhelming, with only 421 runs in the match. Keegan Petersen scored 72 and 82 runs, which eventually won the game for Sout Africa.
After this game, India’s captain Kohli resigned from captaincy. Because of this game, South Africa won the series 2-1. The man of the match for this game was Keegan Petersen.
Adi Anand is 13-years-old and an 8th grader living in San Jose, California. He is an avid cricketer and sports aficionado.