Thursday, 06 January 2022 18:50

Dean Elgar's 96 seals gutsy victory for Proteas over India.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.


Proteas captain Dean Elgar hit a superb 96* to guide South Africa to an emphatic seven-wicket win in the second Test against India at the Wanderers, which levels the three-match series at 1-1.

What had been expected to be a tense chase on the fourth day became a comfortable win for the home side after rain delayed the start of play by almost six hours.

When play did get under way after tea it was under heavily overcast skies with the floodlights on.

Resuming at 118-2 in pursuit of a target of 240, Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen added 57 runs in the first hour before Van der Dussen was caught behind off Mohammed Shami for 40. The pair had put on 82 for the third wicket.

Temba Bavuma gave a caught and bowled chance to Shardul Thakur before he had scored but then batted solidly to make 23* and stay with Elgar until the end.

The captain was not quite able to complete his century but hit the winning runs with a flick for four off Ravichandran Ashwin.

"It wasn't easy," said Elgar, who was appointed captain of the struggling Proteas in March 2021.

"There were some tough conditions we had to face as a batting unit.

"I think some amber nectar is going to sooth those bruises.

"I like to think the knocks I take make me extra motivated to perform. Some will call it stupid or some will call it brave."

India stand-in captain KL Rahul praised South Africa after the match. "They really batted well and bowled well. We were really looking forward to getting go nth field. We all felt we could do something special, 122 wasn't going to be that easy to get .the pitch was up and down but like I said, the South African batsmen were really determined and got the job done."

"If I have to be really harsh, after winning the toss we could have put 60-70 runs more. Shardul (Thakur)'s had a great Test match. In the few Test matches he's played he's really created that impact and won us games. The contribution he had with the bat was crucial as well. Hopefully as a unit, a few more of us can put our hands up in the next Test and put up a performance that will get India a win," he added.

The decider in the three-match series will start at Newlands in Cape Town on Tuesday.