South Africa reach 136/3 at tea, still need 105 to win 3rd Test
Johannesburg : India claimed two morale-boosting wickets even though South Africa inched closer to the target of 241, reaching 136/3 till tea on the fourth and penultimate day of the third and final cricket Test here on Saturday.
India got the two big wickets of overnight batsman Hashim Amla (52) and A.B. de Villiers (6) few overs before the end of the session at the New Wanderers Stadium.
Opening batsman Dean Elgar (61 batting) and skipper Faf du Plessis (0 batting) were at the crease at the break, with the hosts still needing 105 runs to clinch the Test and win all of three matches in the series.
Resuming the session at 69/1, Elgar and Amla continued to defy the Indian bowlers, taking South Africa closer to the total.
Even if the Indian seamer were bowling well, the home batting pair showed their resolve and good temperament to stretch the partnership.
Elgar continued to hang in there, holding the fort fo the hosts. The left-hander absorbed the pressure well and registered his 10th fifty in Test cricket.
Amla, known for his compact technique, completed his 37th Test fifty before flicking a harmless delivery from Ishant Sharma to a diving Hardik Pandya at short midwicket. With the end of the 119-run stand, South Africa were 117 short of the target.
Later, de Villiers perished soon, trying to drive Jasprit Bumrah but only edging it to Ajinkya Rahane at gully.
The wicket meant that India still have the feeling of making a contest out of the match as batting is not at all easy on this pitch.
Brief scores: India: 187 and 247 vs South Africa: 194 and 69/1 (Dean Elgar 61 batting, Hashim Amla 52; Mohammed Shami 1/18, Ishant Sharma 1/27) at tea on Day 4.