Ind v SA: Virat Kohli and team win final test by 63 runs on controversial pitch
Kohli & Co roll over SA to win final Test by 63 runs on controversial pitch
India captain Virat Kohli (right) jumps in joy as pacer Jasprit Bumrah celebrates the dismissal of South African batsman AB de Villiers at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Saturday. PIC/AFP
India's unbeaten record at the Wanderers was bolstered by a 63-run win over South Africa after a dramatic fourth day's play in the final Test. Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla threatened to change the script on a pitch that had suddenly become docile in the middle session, but India's bowlers stuck to their guns. In the first session of the day, India's bowlers did not get their lengths right, and allowed Elgar and Amla to find their groove. Alma walked across his stumps beautifully to whip the ball through the on side, and the determination of Elgar was so strong that he managed to keep India's bowlers at bay despite playing and missing repeatedly and taking the odd blow on his body.
The 119-run third-wicket partnership was ended by Ishant Sharma, who finally found the right length, and attacked the stumps. Whipping to the on side, Amla (52) could not keep the ball down and Hardik Pandya took a good catch at midwicket. AB de Villiers was welcomed to the middle with a huge ovation, and he got going quickly, glancing Ishant to the fine-leg fence. But, just as hopes of an acceleration in the chase were born, Bumrah struck, a ball that bounced a touch extra taking the edge of de Villiers's bat. Ajinkya Rahane, at gully, made no mistake.
From 131 for 2 South Africa slumped to 160 for 8, losing six wickets for the addition of only 29 runs. Faf du Plessis was bowled by Ishant Sharma, the ball hitting a crack and nipping back in sharply. Vernon Philander dragged one back onto his stumps, as did Andile Phehlukwayo and Kagiso Rabada nicked off to slip. Morne Morkel was cleaned up first ball by Shami, the yorker tailing in late, leaving the lower-order batsman with no chance. Elgar, who had received more blows to the body than an average boxer would in nine rounds, somehow kept his wicket intact.
India retained the ICC Test Championship mace and have also won an award of Dollar 1 million after their victory in the Johannesburg Test. The 63-run win ensured that hosts South Africa cannot move ahead of India in the ICC Test team rankings at the April 3 cut-off date, even if Faf du Plessis's men go on to win all four Tests against Australia in March.
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