'It's perfectly poised': Lungi Ngidi on Newlands 3rd Test nailbiter

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South African fast bowler Lungi Ngidi (AFP)
South African fast bowler Lungi Ngidi (AFP)
  • Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi says the deciding Test against India is evenly poised, with a result expected on day four at Newlands.
  • The Proteas ended the third day on 101/2 and still require 111 runs for the win.
  • Ngidi says that if the South African batters have patience and set up a solid partnership in the morning, the hosts could be on the verge of recording a stellar victory.

Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi admits that Friday's morning session will be critical as the third and final Test is expected to go down to the wire on day four at Newlands.

South Africa require only 111 runs to maintain their unbeaten Test series record against India at home.

And while things may look in favour of the Proteas, the current form of their batters and the magic of Jasprit Bumrah cannot be ignored.

Ngidi, who took three for 21 as South Africa bowled India out for 198, believes that the deciding Test match is evenly poised.

"I think everyone is still in the game. If we were to have a 60-run partnership up tomorrow morning that'll put us in a good position, but if they were to take early wickets then that shifts to them," Ngidi told reporters on Thursday.

"It's perfectly poised, tomorrow's session is going to be very important for both teams."

Rishabh Pant played a spirited innings as he struck an unbeaten 100 off 139 balls as India stumbled to 198 all out with the hosts set a target of 212.

However, the Proteas got off to a shaky start when the out-of-form Aiden Markram edged Mohammed Shami to second slip for 16.

A 78-run partnership between Dean Elgar and Keegan Petersen put the Proteas back in control but tensions were high.

READ | 'The whole country is playing against 11 guys': India left furious after Dean Elgar's overturned LBW 

Bumrah, however, eventually dismissed Elgar for 30 as the Proteas ended day three on 101/2 with Petersen unbeaten on 48 not out.

Ngidi believes that their batters could come out on top and clinch the Test series with patience.

"The ball has been doing something this entire Test series. I think there is patches in the wicket and if you hit it, it does something more than others," said Ngidi.

"But all-in-all, with patience, guys can score hundreds out there and there's been two seventies. With the right application, there's runs in the wicket but as a bowler there's wickets as well.

"It's a good cricketing wicket, everyone is in the game. It's pretty evenly matched out in my opinion."

Ngidi said that discussions took place between SA's bowlers and batters at the start of the Test match on how to face the Indian pace attack.

However, the fast bowler knew the task would always be tough against the world number one side.

"Anything we need to discuss in the change room, we do. We mainly tell them what's worked for us and what their bowlers might look to do. It could give them an edge on what's to come," said Ngidi.

"We all know batting in South Africa is not easy and we knew from the start of the Test series, it wasn't going to be easy. But I think the team that toughens it out at the end will come out on top."

Play on Day 4 starts at 10:30.

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