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South Africa closes in on series victory over India

South Africa closed in on a series victory over top-ranked India on Friday as Keegan Petersen made 82 to help take the Proteas in sight of its target in the third and decisive test.

South Africa was 41 runs away from winning with seven wickets in hand.

Petersen was the only South African wicket to fall in the first session of Day 4 at Newlands as the home team progressed from 101-2 overnight to 171-3 at lunch.

South African batsman Keegan Peterson hangs his head in disappointment after he is bowled out by Indian bowler Shardul Thakur during the fourth day of the third and final test match between South Africa and India in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. (AP PhotoHalden Krog)

South Africa is chasing 212 in Cape Town to take the series 2-1 after going behind 1-0. It would deny India its first test series win in the country.

Petersen made his second half century of the test after contributing 72 in the first innings, and his partnerships of 78 with Dean Elgar on Thursday and 54 with Rassie van der Dussen on Friday morning might turn out to be series clinching.

Van der Dussen was 22 not out and Temba Bavuma 12 not out at lunch.

South African batsman Keegan Peterson watches as the ball hits his wickets during the fourth day of the third and final test match between South Africa and India in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. (AP PhotoHalden Krog)

India's growing frustration was evident and followed an incident on the third day when a decision went against the touring team and a number of players were heard on stump microphones expressing their anger.

After a video review decision went against the visitors, Indian players, including captain Virat Kohli, seemed to be suggesting the host TV broadcaster was biased in favor of the home team and tinkering with the Decision Review System to affect decisions.

It all revolved around an lbw appeal by spinner Ravichandran Ashwin against Elgar, which was given out by on-field umpire Marais Erasmus and looked to be clearly out.

The Indian team celebrates the wicket of South African batsman Keegan Peterson, left, during the fourth day of the third and final test match between South Africa and India in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. (AP PhotoHalden Krog)

But Elgar, the South Africa captain, reviewed the decision and the DRS system decided it was not out because the ball would have gone over the stumps. Even the umpire shook his head in disbelief at what DRS showed.

Players have often doubted the accuracy of the technology in cricket that predicts where the ball might have gone if it hadn't hit a player on the pad, but the Indian players suggested something more.

Vice captain KL Rahul was heard through the on-field stump microphones saying "it’s the whole country against 11 guys,” and suggesting a deliberate attempt to manipulate the decision in favor of South Africa.

South African batsman Keegan Peterson plays a shot during the fourth day of the third and final test match between South Africa and India in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. (AP PhotoHalden Krog)

Ashwin was even more direct.

"You should find better ways to win, SuperSport,” he was heard saying, accusing South African host broadcaster SuperSport.

Kohli also walked straight up to the stumps and appeared to be speaking into the stump mic and directing a comment at the host broadcaster.

South African batsman Keegan Peterson in action during the fourth day of the third and final test match between South Africa and India in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. (AP PhotoHalden Krog)

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Indian bowler Jasprit Bumrah bowls while South African batsman Keegan Peterson looks on during the fourth day of the third and final test match between South Africa and India in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. (AP PhotoHalden Krog)

Indian players appeal for a wicket during the fourth day of the third and final test match between South Africa and India in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. (AP PhotoHalden Krog)

Indian captain Virat Kohli questions the decision of not out during the fourth day of the third and final test match between South Africa and India in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. (AP PhotoHalden Krog)