Cape Town: A sublime 82 from Keegan Petersen and some gorgeous shots from Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma meant South Africa are on the verge of winning the third Test and series against India at Newlands Cricket Ground on Friday. At lunch on day four, South Africa are 171/3 in 55 overs and need just 41 runs to win the match and series.
The day began with Petersen reaching his second half-century of the match with a brace on a thick edge going through third man. It also meant Petersen crossed fifty thrice in the series, including twice in the ongoing match. India pacers Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah asked many questions while beating the outer edges but couldn’t get a wicket early on.
Rassie van der Dussen pounced on everything with width and also survived a caught behind appeal off Shami as bat touched the ground while looking to drive. Petersen continued to impress with his off-side play and had a reprieve at 59 when Jasprit Bumrah found an outer edge with a peach of a delivery but Cheteshwar Pujara couldn’t hold onto the catch at the first slip.
Van der Dussen clipped Umesh Yadav through mid-wicket while Petersen took two more boundaries through the off-side off Shami and Bumrah. The 54-run partnership was broken by Shardul Thakur, who got Petersen to chop on to his stumps and fall 18 runs short of his maiden Test hundred.
Petersen’s fall got India to keep things tight till Temba Bavuma punched off backfoot and then creamed a drive through extra cover off Bumrah to restart the run-flow for South Africa. Thakur almost had van der Dussen’s wicket but the right-hander survived via umpire’s call on an lbw appeal as South Africa inched closer to the series win.
Brief scores: India 223 in 77.3 overs and 198 in 67.3 overs (Rishabh Pant 100 not out; Marco Jansen 4/36) against South Africa 210 in 76.3 overs and 171/3 in 55 overs (Keegan Petersen 82, Dean Elgar 30; Shardul Thakur 1/22, Mohammed Shami 1/41), South Africa need 41 runs to win.