Rishabh Pant peeled off a scintillating Test century, his fourth in the format, helping India set South Africa 212 run to win the three-match series decider in Cape Town. Pant struck six fours and four sixes in his unbeaten 100 off 139 as India were bowled out for 198 in their second dig with Marco Jansen taking 4/36 on Day 3 before the tea was taken.
All 20 wickets across India’s two innings fell via caught which is the first time it has happened in Test history. There were four instances of 19 out of 20 wickets falling to caught.
While the morning session saw India recover from two early blows through a solid association between captain Virat Kohli and Pant, the second belong to South Africa pacers who took four wickets during that period, pouring cold water over their hopes of a formidable lead.
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The collapse began when Lungi Ngidi lured Kohli into going after a wide delivery that lifted after taking the edge and was well caught by Aiden Markram at second slip. The lapse in focus ended Kohli’s vigil on 29 off 143 on a difficult pitch.
The stand between Pant and Kohli was worth 94 for the fifth wicket and it opened the floodgates once the two were separated. Ngidi emerged a different bowler after a quiet morning as he accounted for Ravichandran Ashwin (7) and Shardul Thakur in quick time leaving India struggling at 170/7.
Rabada, as impressive as ever, continued to attack consistently and sent back Umesh Yadav for a 10-ball duck. Later, with the session drawing to a close, Marco Jansen dropped one short and Mohammed Shami was out caught-behind for a duck as well.
Amidst the collapse, Pant showed immense presence of mind while farming strikes with the tailenders. He cut down his expansive shots and opted to play the waiting game instead. And when the tourists were reduced to nine down, ensured last-man Jasprit Bumrah took strike as less as possible.
Brief Scores. India 223-all out and 198-all out (Rishabh Pant 100; Virat Kohli 29; Marco Jansen 4/26 ) set South Africa 212 runs to win
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