Heroic Elgar leads Proteas' win over India

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South Africa captain Dean Elgar has produced a heroic unbeaten innings of 96 to lead his team to a seven-wicket victory over India in the second Test at the Wanderers.

Elgar defied a hostile Indian attack and body blows from balls that struck him on a difficult pitch to deliver a battling match-winning performance as he led a successful 240-run chase on Thursday, fittingly hitting the winning boundary.

South Africa ended up on 3-243 near the end of a rain-restricted fourth day to level the series after India had won the first Test in Pretoria by 113 runs.

The decider will start in Cape Town on Tuesday.

"I would like to think the knocks I take make me extra motivated to perform," said the bruised captain Elgar, who wasn't the least concerned at just missing out on a deserved hundred.

"Some would call it stupid and some would call it brave. The bigger picture is for us to win and I wanted to show our young group that sometimes taking the blows can be worth it."

The home team were 2-118 overnight but had to wait as the first two sessions on Thursday were washed out by rain before Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen eventually resumed their run chase at 3.45pm local time under cloudy skies.

The outcome was still in the balance as the pitch was expected to favour the formidable India attack.

But the pair added 57 more runs in the first hour's play before van der Dussen edged Mohammed Shami to first slip and was out for 40.

South Africa still needed 65 to win when the wicket fell and they ciud easily have slipped into trouble had Shardul Thakur held onto a catch when new batsman Temba Bavuma hit the second ball he faced straight back at the bowler.

Thakur was unable to hold onto a stinging shot, and Bavuma went on to make full use of his good fortune to finish 23 not out.

But Elgar was the hero, showing a dogged fighting spirit and leading by example to hand his young team an important and morale-boosting win. He faced 188 balls, hitting 10 boundaries.

It was the first time South Africa had beaten India at the Wanderers and keeps alive their hopes of denying the world's top-ranked team a first-ever series victory in South Africa.

"I felt we could have scored 60 or so more runs in the first innings and given ourselves a bit of a lead. That's really where we let the game slip," said India's stand-in skipper KL Rahul.

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