54 run stand between Petersen and Van Der Dussen leaves the hosts just 41 runs away from victory
South Africa were on verge of a famous series win against a strong Indian team, reaching 171 for three in pursuit of 212 at lunch on the fourth day of the third Test.
Keegan Petersen’s 82 had laid the platform while Rassie Van der Dussen (22 batting) and Temba Bavuma (12 batting) are slowly and surely taking the team towards victory which is just 41 runs away.
The 54-run stand between Petersen, who had 10 boundaries in his innings and Van Der Dussen, who played 72 balls, made it easier for the Proteas.
Cheteshwar Pujara dropping a regulation slip catch offered by Petersen off Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling only added insult to the injuries as the batter was on 59 then and after that got a few boundaries at a fair clip to ease the pressure.
It was a challenge to play the first spell from Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami which the South Africa duo managed pretty well despite some really good deliveries.
Once they had seen off the first spell, they attacked Umesh Yadav and got a few boundaries through the off-side cordon, prompting Virat Kohli to spread the field which in turn also gave them chance to take singles and doubles.
It was Shardul Thakur, who finally got rid of Petersen, with an innocuous delivery that he dragged back onto the stumps.
The period post Petersen’s dismissal was bit of a lull as Indian bowlers went flat out but to Van den Dussen’s credit, he hung in there and showed some great defensive technique.
However by then, only 57 runs were left and Bavuma played a few rasping drives to leave the Indians gasping for breath.
But the hero of this chase certainly will be Petersen, who has both fine technique and admirable temperament which are ingredients required to succeed in top flight cricket.
India: 223 and 198
South Africa: 210 and (Overnight 101 for 2 in 29.4 overs) Aiden Markram c Rahul b Mohammed Shami 16, Dean Elgar c Pant b Bumrah 30, Keegan Petersen b Thakur 82, Rassie van der Dussen not out 22, Temba Bavuma not out 12
Extras: (LB-8, NB-1) 9
Total: (For 3 wickets in 55 overs) 171
Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-101, 3-155
Bowling: Jasprit Bumrah 17-5-54-1, Mohammed Shami 15-3-41-1, Umesh Yadav 5-0-22-0, Shardul Thakur 11-3-22-1, Ravichandran Ashwin 7-1-24-0.