Keegan Petersen scored a superb 82 as South Africa completed a seven-wicket victory in the third Test and a 2-1 series win over India on a spiteful Newlands pitch having chased down their challenging target of 212 on Friday.
It is just the fourth time in 133 years that a team has scored more than 200 in Cape Town to win, and follows on from South Africa’s epic seven-wicket victory in Johannesburg in the second Test when they needed 240 in the fourth innings.
Petersen, who was the leading scorer in the series with 276 runs, was the anchor for the home side on a difficult wicket for batting, but there were also important unbeaten contributions from Rassie van der Dussen (41) and Temba Bavuma (32) as they put on 57 for the fourth wicket.
Dean Elgar believes the win is an important step forward for his side, who have lost a host of experienced players to retirement in recent years. “I’m pretty elated. I couldn’t be prouder of the group of players,” he said. “We were thrown under the sword quite a few times in this series and the guys responded brilliantly.
“The way our bowling unit came in and operated through the last two games has been brilliant. To take 60 wickets in a Test series is a tough challenge. We have a young, talented group. The experience isn’t there, but we are gaining it and getting better every day.”
The result means India are still in search of a first Test series victory in South Africa, having had high hopes when they won the opening match, and captain Virat Kohli paid tribute to the hosts. “I think in both Tests they won they were much more clinical with the ball in the crunch moments, and to be honest there was a bit of a lapse of concentration from us as well, which cost us,” he said. “They were deserving winners at the end.”
The teams will now play three ODIs, starting in Paarl on Wednesday.