Temba Bavuma hugs Dean Elgar after South Africa won the second Test match against India at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday. Photo: Phill Magakoe/AFP
Temba Bavuma hugs Dean Elgar after South Africa won the second Test match against India at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday. Photo: Phill Magakoe/AFP

South Africa’s five best Test match wins at home

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Jan 7, 2022

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Cape Town — Captain Dean Elgar played a captain’s innings as his unbeaten 96 helped lay the foundation for a maginificent second Test win against India at the Wanderers.

So, where does Thursday's magnificent victory over India rank for South Africa as far as home Test match triumphs are concerned? Stuart Hess puts it in the top 5.

VS India in Durban 2006

South Africa 328 and 265/8decl. India 240 and 179

SA won by 174 runs

Under enormous pressure following defeat in the first Test, South Africa promptly slumped to 28/3 on the first morning. Ashwell Prince scored a typically gritty 121 to rescue the Proteas, getting help from Herschelle Gibbs and Mark Boucher to help post a big first innings total. The bowlers ensured a good lead that was quickly extended thanks to half centuries from Graeme Smith and Shaun Pollock. India were looking to draw and were hoping for help from Durban’s fickle weather, but Makhaya Ntini bowled a magnificent spell on the final afternoon taking 5/48 to seal a series tying win.

VS Australia in Gqeberha 2018

Australia 243 and 239. South Africa 382 and 102/4

SA won by 6 wickets

Following the acrimonious ending to the fractious first Test in Durban, South Africa’s bowlers led by Kagiso Rabada ripped through the Australian middle order. Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla then absorbed punishing spells from Australia’s quicks, drawing their energy and allowing AB de Villiers to play one of his finest Test innings. De Villiers made 126*, establishing a lead of 139 runs. Rabada, who finished with match figures of 11/150, bowled a magic spell on the third afternoon to crush the Aussies and tie the series before it headed for the mayhem in Cape Town.

VS India in Johannesburg 2022

India 202 and 266. South Africa 229 and 243/3

South Africa won by 7 wickets

India failed to build on the solid start provided by stand-in skipper KL Rahul’s 50. Their bowlers kept them in the match on a tricky pitch, but South Africa’s 27 run lead was a psychologically important one for the inexperienced Proteas outfit. Rabada’s magnificent three wicket burst on the third morning changed the momentum of the match. Elgar then played one of the more special innings by a South African batter, making 96* against one of the best attacks to visit these shores to tie the series with one match to play.

VS England in Cape Town 1996

England 153 and 157. South Africa 244 and 70/0

SA won by 10 wickets

South Africa were in danger of not building on the advantage created by Allan Donald’s first innings ‘five-for’ when they slumped to 171/9. But Dave Richardson and Paul Adams, playing in his second Test, shared a 10th wicket partnership worth 73 runs, to give the hosts a substantial first innings lead. Shaun Pollock delivered a ‘five for’ the second time England batted, with the hosts ultimately running away with the match and sealing the series

VS Australia in Cape Town 2011

Australia 284 and 47. South Africa 96 and 236/2

SA won by eight wickets

Michael Clarke’s first innings 151, must rank as one of the great knocks in a losing cause. He gave Australia early control with Ryan Harris (4/33) and Shane Watson (5/17) putting them in a seemingly unassailable position with a lead of 188. Then Vernon Philander, on debut delivered a masterful spell taking 5/17 as Australia were bowled out in 18 overs. Smith and Amla made hundreds to seal an astonishing win.


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