South Africa have levelled the 3 match Test series with victory over India at the Wanderers by 7 wickets. For anyone who didn't watch the chase, It might look like a cruise but in reality, it was anything but.
The Proteas finished day 3 at 118/2, still needing 122 for victory. Rain played spoilsport as expected on day 4 with the whole of the 1st and the 2nd sessions washed out. It took nearly six hours for the play to resume as the match started at 15:45 local time with close to 34 overs of play still left.
Bumrah started the proceedings as always for India but Rahul starting with Ashwin at the other end was baffling considering the overcast conditions. The thinking of the management might be because the ball becomes wet as the game progresses, Ashwin wouldn't have a role to play going forward.
Bumrah started off with a corker as his in-angling good length ball moved away after pitching to beat the outside edge of Van Der Dussen. Dean Elgar completed his well-deserved half-century with a boundary of Ashwin. Even though Ashwin troubled Van Der Dussen, there was nothing in it for the spinner as South Africa scored 21 in the first 5 overs.
Shami replaced Ashwin but he too couldn't get the breakthrough. Shami and Bumrah were also susceptible of going round the wicket to Elgar and bowling too straight. The moving over came in the 50th as Van Der Dussen hit Shami for two fours and there was also 5 wides as 14 runs came off the over.
Shardul Thakur, who took 7 wickets in the 1st innings, came into the attack and was treated with two fours by Van Der Dussen. South Africa scored 54 runs in the first 11 overs of the day. Shami finally found the outside edge of Van Der Dussen with a ball seaming away on a good length.
India should have removed Bavuma straight after but Shardul Thakur dropped a tough chance of his own bowling. It turned out to be a costly drop as Bavuma was looking in great touch. It was a stroll from there on as both batters dealt in boundaries and South Africa cantered to victory.
The introduction of Mohammed Siraj, who wasn't fully fit to bowl, didn't make any difference. South Africa eventually got to the target without losing any more wickets with skipper Dean Elgar finishing on 96*.
South Africa's victory was set up by their bowlers as bowled out India for 202 in the 1st innings. Their batters scored 229 to gain a vital 27 run lead. India replied with 266 in the 2nd innings riding on half-centuries from Rahane and Pujara. A target of 240 seemed to be tough but the Proteas got there losing just 3 wickets.
This was South Africa's first win at the Wanderers against India after losing two and drawing three games. They also ended a losing streak of 5 tests against India. South Africa's chase of 240 was also their highest at this venue since readmission, surpassing the 220 they chased down against New Zealand in 2006.
It sets up an enticing final test as India will look to bounce back and claim their first series win in South Africa.