Cape Town - Dean Elgar will finish 2017 as the third highest run scorer in Test cricket after the Proteas clobbered the Zimbabweans in their one-off Test match in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.
Prior to the four-day Test, Elgar needed 44 runs to overtake India's Cheteshwar Pujara, who was then the year's highest run scorer.
However, the Proteas opener could only muster 31 off 56 balls against Zimbabwe as South Africa won by an innings and 120 runs.
Meanwhile, 'Down Under' in the fourth Ashes Test, Australia skipper Steve Smith scored 76 off 156 to leapfrog Pujara and Elgar to become the No 1 run-getter in 2017.
As of writing, Smith is currently on 1 203 runs with the ongoing fourth Ashes Test underway in Melbourne, while Pujara remains on 1 140 runs.
Elgar ends on 1 128 runs having scored five centuries and four half-centuries for an average of 53.71.
India's Virat Kohli is on 1 059 while Sri Lankan duo Dimuth Karunaratne (1 031) and Dinesh Chandimal (1 003) have also joined the '1 000-club' this year.
The next best South African batsman is Hashim Amla, who is in the eighth spot, making 947 runs this year including three centuries and four half-centuries at and average of 47.35.
The last South African to finish a calendar year as Test cricket's highest run scorer was Graeme Smith in 2008.
The former Proteas skipper scored 1 656 runs that year with six 100s and six 50s at an average of 72.00.