JOHANNESBURG: India found a way around Dean Elgar’s resistance by destroying the batsmen at the other end for a 63-run win over South Africa in the final test on Saturday.
While Elgar made 86 not out and was unbowed after being hit on the helmet, hip and multiple times on the fingers on a fiery Wanderers wicket, India rolled out his batting partners in quick succession on the fourth day.
Although India had already lost the series, Virat Kohli’s team avoided a first series whitewash in six years and left the series 2-1 in South Africa’s favour.
That was still a disappointing result for top-ranked India, but the final test did reward them with a convincing win and avoided the embarrassment of 3-0.
India bowled South Africa out for 177 late on the fourth day, with the South Africans collapsing from 124-1.
Chasing 241 for victory, Elgar and Hashim Amla (52) put on 119 for the second wicket. But after Amla was caught at short mid-wicket to a diving catch by Hardik Pandya, the home team imploded on a fast, bouncy and unpredictable pitch.
Quick bowler Mohammed Shami took 5-28 as India ripped out nine South African batsmen for 53 to win the game.
Play was stopped late on Day 3 over fears that the Wanderers pitch had become too dangerous to bat on.
Elgar was at the centre of that decision by the umpires when they decided to take the players off the field after the South African opener was hit a hard blow on the grill of his helmet by a bouncer.
India was furious with the decision as they were on top at that point but, ultimately, it only robbed the game of 20 minutes of action and didn’t affect India’s march to victory.