On the uneven surface at Supersport Park in Centurion on Day 4, South Africa captain Dean Elgar managed to stand tall in their big chase against a top-quality Indian bowling attack in the ongoing Boxing Day Test.
In a chase of 305 runs, the Proteas lost opener Aiden Markram (1) early in the second over, bowled by Mohammad Shami. The right-armer, who bagged a five-wicket haul in the first innings, drew the first blood when he bowled a back of a length outside off delivery, which put Markram in dual thoughts about whether to leave the ball or play it. As the batter lifted his bat, the red leather took the inside edge and crashed into the stumps.
Soon, in the 15th over of South Africa’s second innings, Mohammad Siraj joined the party and got rid of Keegan Petersen, who was looking solid on 17 off 36. Siraj came a little wide of the crease and bowled a full delivery drawing the batter to play it. Petersen played across the line only to get a thick outside edge caught by Indian keeper Rishabh Pant.
After losing two wickets, Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen partnered to steady the ship. The duo went past a challenging phase of high-quality bowling and rose the hopes of South African fans before Jasprit Bumrah spoiled their party.
During the 37th over, Bumrah cleaned up van der Dussen after the batter shouldered his arms to an in-swinger that came back in sharply. Van der Dussen played 65 deliveries for his 11.
Meanwhile, Elgar smashed a gritty half-century. The Proteas captain then formed another frustrating 20-run stand for the fourth wicket, and the pair almost passed the proceedings before Bumrah yet again came for India’s rescue. The right-armer bowled a stunning yorker to get rid of nightwatchman Keshav Maharaj (20) on the last ball of the day as the hosts finished at 94/4, needing 211 runs to win with Elgar unbeaten at 52.
Earlier, the Indian batting unit struggled to face the uneven bounce, but the tourists did manage to set up a challenging 305-run target for the hosts after getting bundled out for 174 in their second innings.
Only Pant crossed the 30-run mark with his crucial run-a-ball 34, including six boundaries. KL Rahul (23), Ajinkya Rahane (20), Virat Kohli (18) and Cheteshwar Pujara (16) made some contributions to take India’s total to 174.
For the hosts, Kagiso Rabada (4/42) and Marco Jansen (4/55) bagged four wickets each, while Lungi Ngidi (2/31) picked up one scalp.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Jasprit Bumrah,,,,,game changer!
— Ian Raphael Bishop (@irbishi) December 29, 2021
Since Jasprit Bumrah made his Test debut he has taken six wickets with yorkers – the most of any Test bowler in the world. India’s spearhead bringing white ball skills to the five day game. #SAvIND
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) December 29, 2021
Jasprit Bumrah – an absolute artist. And, with all the talk about how T20 can hinder players in Test cricket, illustrates how the very best players bring in T20 skills to enhance their Test game
— Tim Wigmore (@timwig) December 29, 2021
The best of the best. Bumrah. India vs Centurion weather on the last day now #IndvSA
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) December 29, 2021
Nothing Maharaj could do, just a great ball from Bumrah to end the day.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 29, 2021
Dean Elgar. His key strength is he seems to have a button in his mind that erases the fact that he was beaten the previous ball. It doesn’t seem to sow the seeds of doubt.
— Bharath Ramaraj (@Fancricket12) December 29, 2021
STUMPS | DAY 4️⃣
🇮🇳 well and truly on top at this stage of the game, thanks to two quick-fire wickets from Bumrah and a tight spell by Siraj. 🙌🏻🤩#PlayBold #TeamIndia #SAvIND pic.twitter.com/GKf32Dfovz
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) December 29, 2021
Stumps on Day 4 of the 1st Test.
South Africa end the day on 94/4. #TeamIndia 6 wickets away from victory.
Scorecard – https://t.co/eoM8MqSQgO #SAvIND pic.twitter.com/IgRuammbPo
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 29, 2021
Stumps on day four in Centurion 🏏
Late strikes from Jasprit Bumrah turns the tide in India’s favour but South African skipper Dean Elgar stands tall. #WTC23 | https://t.co/qi2EfKhLHp pic.twitter.com/ezBYqfFszZ
— ICC (@ICC) December 29, 2021
on DAY 4️⃣
Another action packed day ends as the Proteas hold on.
🇮🇳 will look to find another trick up their sleeves when they walk out tomorrow!
🇿🇦: 94/4#OneFamily #SAvIND
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) December 29, 2021
Bumrah knows art.
— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) December 29, 2021
What a ball! What a bowler! @Jaspritbumrah93 #IndvSA
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) December 29, 2021
Grit + determination + self belief = Dean Elgar
— Prasanna (@prasannalara) December 29, 2021
I see glimpses of Graeme Smith in Dean Elgar. Leading the Proteas by example and calm head but fierce in tactics. #SAvsIND pic.twitter.com/ACq3UGkIWx
— Shashank Tiwari (@shashank_zip) December 29, 2021
#Twitter #reactions #Dean #Elgar #holds #fort #India #inch #closer #win #Centurion #Test