Dean Elgar composed a captain’s knock of 96 not out to lead
South Africa to a famous 7-wicket win over India in the second Test in
Johannesburg. Batting alongside Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma on a
rain-hit day four, Elgar helped South Africa chase down 240 in the fourth
innings, handing India their first Test defeat at the Wanderers and levelling
the series at 1-1.
The opener braved a hostile spell of bowling from the Indian
seam attack on a challenging surface, wearing multiple blows on his body and
head to lead the Proteas to their highest fourth-innings run chase at home
South Africa needed 122 runs overnight to win the Test but
had to play the waiting game on day four due to passing showers and a wet
outfield. The game eventually resumed under cloudy skies almost six hours after
the scheduled start of play, with a minimum of 34 overs scheduled for the
The Proteas wasted no time in taking the attack to the
Indian bowlers, scoring 57 runs in the first hour of play as India struggled to
keep the ball dry due to the wet outfield. Although the Indian seamers got the
occasional delivery to rear up from a length, Rassie van der Dussen played the
role of the aggressor, scoring 14 runs off a Shami over while Elgar reached his
fifty after a cover drive of an overpitched delivery from Ravichandran Ashwin.
With 65 runs still needed, India finally managed to get
their first breakthrough of the day as Mohammad Shami nicked off Rassie van der
Dussen to Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip, giving the Men in Blue a lifeline in
the game. Unfortunately, KL Rahul’s side couldn’t make the most of this
opportunity and squandered the chance to sustain the pressure when Shardul
Thakur dropped Temba Bavuma for nought off his bowling, failing to hold onto the
ball with his outstretched right arm during his follow-through.
Bavuma made full use of this reprieve, seeing through the
run-chase alongside Dean Elgar, who got more fluent as the innings progressed.
The opener creamed successive boundaries off Mohammad Shami before sealing
South Africa’s fate in an 18-run over from Mohammad Siraj, which saw the pacer
concede three fours and a bouncer that flew over Rishabh Pant’s head for
Elgar eventually creamed the winning runs with a boundary
off Ravichandran Ashwin, helping the Proteas level the series and setting up
the decider in the third Test in Cape Town.