Ngidi fire sets up blockbuster finish in series finale as Pant century steals the show

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Lungi Ngidi (Gallo)
Lungi Ngidi (Gallo)

Lungi Ngidi, quiet in the Test match up until now, delivered a potentially series-deciding spell of bowling in the middle session of day three of the third Test against India on Wednesday. 

Rishabh Pant's 100* was one of the finest knocks ever by an Indian on these shores, and the Test match is now set up beautifully with South Africa needing 212 in their second innings to win this series. 

At lunch, India were 130/4 and in the driving seat of this contest, but Ngidi's three wickets in his seven overs after the restart launched his country back into contention. 

At tea, the tourists were 198 all out, with Ngidi (3/21) and Marco Jansen (4/36) the chief destroyers. 

LIVE | Proteas v India - 3rd Test, Day 3

India scored 68 runs in the middle session, but South Africa's 6 wickets have set up a potentially blockbuster finish. 

Pant was dropped three times - by Keshav Maharaj, Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma - but all were tough chances that should in no way detract from this masterclass.

The Proteas did chase down 240 to win the second Test on a Wanderers wicket that arguably had more in it for the seamers than this Newlands strip, but with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami firing, there is no guarantee of a repeat. 

The fight shown by South Africa since Keegan Petersen's blinding catch to remove Cheteshwar Pujara (9) with the second ball of the morning will be welcomed by Proteas supporters, but Pant's heroics were the thorn in their side. 

Pant and Kohli (29) had put on 94 for the fourth wicket, but it was Ngidi who ignited the South African charge. 

He had Kohli driving wide outside off to be expertly caught by Aiden Markram at slip, Ravichandran Ashwin (7) snapped up by Marco Jansen at gully and then Shardul Thakur caught behind for 5, and by the time he was done, Ngidi had delivered a performance that was even more valuable than his six-wicket haul at Centurion.

Aiden Markram, desperate for runs, will start the third and final session of the day with his skipper Dean Elgar. 

Scores in brief:

India 223 (Kohli 79, Pujara 43, Rabada 4/73, Jansen 3/55) and 198 (Pant 100*, Kohli 28*, Jansen 4/36, Ngidi 3/21)

SA 210 (Petersen 72, Bavuma 28, Bumrah 5/42)

South Africa need 212 runs to win

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