Rishabh Pant hits century as South Africa fight back in third Test
14 January, 2022
South African Dean Elgar jumps to catch a rebound off Kyle Verreynne, during their third Test against India in Cape Town on Thursday.
CAPE TOWN: South Africa look like favourites to beat India in the series decider as they were 101-2 in 212-run chase which saw skipper Dean Elgar dismissed off the final over amidst DRS drama here on Thursday. In-fact the skipper was earlier adjudged not out which infuriated a number of Indian players including Virat Kohli. The reason being complete domination from South Africa until this point. The Proteas were acing the 212 run chase with the stand between Keegan Petersen and Elgar taking the game away from India. The duo had shared a 78-run stand before Ravi Ashwin trapped him in front, or he thought so. As the DRS found him not out, all hell broke loose.
Soon after Ashwin rushed to the stumps and said: “You should find better ways to win, Supersport.” Kohli, who was at the other end, took a leaf out of Ashwin and walked at the other end, and said: “Focus on your team as well when they shine the ball eh, not just the opposition. Trying to catch people all the time.” However, India managed to remove Elgar for 30 when he edged Bumrah straight to Rishabh Pant.
Earlier Rishabh Pant scored one of his finest hundreds in the most adverse of circumstances but another shoddy batting show left India with only 211 runs to defend on the third day of the third and final cricket Test against South Africa, here Thursday. Pant’s (100 not out off 139 balls) fourth Test hundred constituted for more than 50 percent of India’s second innings total of 198 with Virat Kohli’s 29 off 143 balls being the second-highest individual score. The umpires called for tea break at the fall of the final Indian wicket in the extended second session. This was the first Test match in 145-year-history where all 20 batters of one team were caught.
The day belonged to Pant as he scored a hundred which is as good as one would ever see and what stood out was his shot selection, which was immaculate. He didn’t do anything that was ‘un-Pant’ like as there was a rasping square cut off a rising one from Kagiso Rabada (3/53). There was the audacious down the track cover drive off Duanne Olivier and that six over long-on off Keshav Maharaj came just an over before lunch. These are all shots that one associates with the dashing keeper-batter but what was exemplary was his use of discretion as to what kind of deliveries he would attack.