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Elgar’s 3rd 50+ score in the 4th innings against India scripts historic win for Proteas

Last updated on 06 Jan 2022 | 07:52 PM
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Elgar’s 3rd 50+ score in the 4th innings against India scripts historic win for Proteas

Here are a few noteworthy stats from the fourth day of the second Test between South Africa and India at The Wanderers

India breached South Africa’s fortress Centurion, in the first Test and South Africa took revenge for that by beating them at a venue where they hadn’t lost. Though the first two sessions were washed out due to rain, South Africa, led by their skipper Dean Elgar, chased the required 122 runs in just 27.4 overs and lost only one wicket, an emphatic win. For the first time, India lost a match at the Wanderers, Johannesburg. In the previous five encounters, they had won two and drawn three.  

Elgar was the chief engineer of the win with an unbeaten 96 of 188 balls. The overnight pair of Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen, added 57 more runs to their third wicket partnership on day four before Dussen was dismissed with 65 runs still required. The two of the most successful batsmen of South Africa in this series, Elgar and Bavuma added the required 65 runs as they forged an unbeaten 68-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Hence, without breaking a sweat, South Africa won the second Test by seven wickets in hand. Here are a few notable stats from day four:

SA gun down their third highest target at home

With a poor record while chasing over 200+ in recent times and keeping in mind what had happened in 2018, South Africa had a good start to the chase. Not only in recent times, in the history, South Africa had chased a target 240 or more only twice at home. However, Elgar, joined by others, chased the target of 240 comfortably. By virtue of it, South Africa registered their third highest successful chase in Tests at home. In 2002 against Australia in Durban, they had chased a target of 335.

India suffer a rare defeat

Generally, chasing a target of over 200 in the fourth innings has always been a difficult feat. Prior to this match, only two teams had chased a target of over 220, a testimony of the difficulties. However, South Africa today achieved a rare feat. In Tests in this century, the target of 240 chased by South Africa in this match is the highest. Overall, only the third highest. To emboss more on South Africa’s monumental effort. Only two teams have chased a target of over 200 in Tests since 2000 against India and both times it has been South Africa. Previously, in 2007 in Cape Town, South Africa had chased 207.

Bumrah endures a horror spell

The last time India won at the Wanderers in 2018, Jasprit Bumrah was one of the pioneers of that. But, in this match, he was one of the bowlers who released the pressure time and time. His record when defending a target of less than 250, hasn’t been that great to go with it. Since Bumrah's Test debut, in six matches in which India were defending less than 250, including today, he has bagged only four wickets at an average of 56.3 and strike rate of 103.8 in the fourth innings. In this match, he conceded at an economy of 4.1. In an innings where he has bowled 10+ overs, this is his costliest spell.

Another Dean Elgar special

It is not easy to bat in the fourth innings, irrespective of which country one is playing. But, for Elgar, it is a piece of cake. In Tests, he has an average of 39.9 with six 50+ scores in the fourth innings. In Tests since 2018, the record is even better as he averages 49.6 and four half-centuries.

Against India in particular, he takes a special liking. In the seven innings he has batted in the fourth innings against India, he has scored 299 runs at an average of 59.8 with three 50+ score. The three 50+ scores are the joint most for a batsman against India. Only Matthew Hayden (324) has scored more than Elgar. Hayden, Javed Miandad, Mahela Jayawardene and Tom Latham also have three 50+ scores in the fourth innings.

A herculean effort, went in vain

After India were bundled out for 202 in the first innings, Shardul Thakur’s seven-wicket haul saw India concede only 27-run lead. It didn’t end there as he scored a valuable 28 in the second innings that helped India set a target of 240. However, all his efforts went in vain after a loss by seven-wicket. His spell of seven for 61 in the first innings is the best spell for an Indian bowler in the first innings of an away Test. Previously, Kapil Dev had bagged seven for 220 in 1983 against Pakistan in Faisalabad.

Stitching important partnerships

The main reason behind this victory has been the partnerships stitched by South Africa. In the first Test, apart from a 72-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Q de Kock and Bavuma, there wasn’t a single 50+ partnership. In this match, chasing 240, South Africa witnessed a 40+ partnership for all the four wickets. The first wicket saw a 47-run partnership and the second wicket a 46-run partnership and for the third wicket, there was an 82-run partnership and an unbeaten 68-run partnership for the fourth wicket to finish off. This is the first time in the fourth innings where all the first four partnerships forged a 40+run stand for South Africa. 

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