India on Saturday defeated South Africa by 64 runs in the third Test match at Wanderers with Md Shami bowling a fiery spell in the second innings. Shami took 5 wickets for 28 in 12.3 overs.
The game was mired in controversy after the umpires on Friday had called off the game calling the pitch dangerous. The hosts were mocked for being ‘cowards’ after a short pitch ball from Jasprit Bumrah had hit Dean Elgar’s helmet.
The hosts needed 241 runs to ensure a whitewash against Virat Kohli’s men but an inspired bowling spell by the Indian pacers put paid to all their hopes. They were bowled out for just 177 runs in their second innings. Elgar remained the last man standing with 86 off 240 balls.
Shami’s scalps included Aiden Markram, Vernon Philander, Andile Phehlukwayo, Morne Morkel and Lungi Ngidi. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was adjudged Man of The Match for taking four wickets and scoring 30 and 33 in both the innings respectively.
Speaking after the match, Kohli said, “We required a lot of character on a wicket that wasn’t batter friendly and we had to fight on. Cricket is a funny game and many ways we thought of finding wickets after that Amla and Elgar partnership. We knew that if we had to get wickets they would come tumbling.
“We did really well to fight against a bowling line up South Africa had. The bowlers were the biggest positive; we haven’t done 60 wickets in the past. We wan’t to correct certain mistakes. That lower-order showed character. This win feels great. As batsmen, if we can think about countering conditions better, we can do away from home.”
South Africa’s captain, Faf Du Plessis, said, “I think India outplayed us in this Test. We didn’t take our chances. We were just sloppy. From bowling ppoint of view, we weren’t consistent. India were the better team. It was a surprise how the surface played this morning.
“Elgar and Hashim had a great partnership together. We were disappointed to lose the series. If you asked me 2-1 before the series, I’d have taken it. India is a fantastic side. We are the deserved series winners and I am very proud of my team. There’s a lot of limited-overs cricket before the Australia series.”