Fortress Centurion was breached as India became the first Asian team to win at the venue by 113 runs. This is India’s 4th test win in South Africa with the first win coming in 2006 Johannesburg test followed by 2010 in Durban and 2018 in Johannesburg again. 2021 is the second time India have had won four Tests outside Asia in a calendar year (Brisbane, Lord’s, Oval, Centurion). The previous instance was in 2018 (Jo’burg, Nottingham, Adelaide, Melbourne. KL Rahul was the lone centurion amongst the two teams and he became the second Indian opener after Wasim Jaffer to score a century in the rainbow country.
After winning the toss, Virat Kohli decided to bat first and the decision was proven right by the likes of KL Rahul(123), Mayank Agarwal(60) and others which helped India put up a total of 327 runs in first innings. Lungi Ngidi picked 6 wickets and restricted India to put up a mammoth total in the first innings.
South Africa never got a big partnership to stand any close to the Indian total expect Temba Bavuma(52) and Quinton de Kock(34) as Mohammed Shami(5 wickets) ran through the Proteas batting order which was bundled out on 197 runs.
After gaining a healthy lead, Indian team could not capitalize much and were bowled out on 174 runs but they put up a target of 305 runs for South Africa, which could have been the highest chasing total at Centurion if Proteas would have chased it down. The highest successful chase at Centurion was 251/8 by England against South Africa in 2000.
South Africa never looked comfortable chasing a mammoth target but skipper Dean Elgar(77) and Temba Bavuma(35) showed some resistance but it was not enough to save the fortress of Centurion as the host lost the test by 113 runs.
KL Rahul was adjudged player of the match for his first innings heroics which proved to be a decisive factor to turn the match in India’s favour.
The second test is scheduled from 3-7 January at Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Indian team started with a win at fortress GABBA in Australia in the start of the year and ended the year by breaching the fortress Centurion.