It’s been a tough Summer Series for the young South African side. Many of the players were playing in their first home test series and playing against an Indian side who have been in some good form, including a bronze medal at the Commonwealth games, their first medal since 2006.
The Indian squad in South Africa included 11 players with more than 100 test caps of which five had more than 200. The South Africans in comparison had just four players with more than 50 caps to their name.
With India having sealed the series 3-0 the South Africans were desperate to end on a high. In order to do so they would need to find a quicker start as they had struggled in the opening test matches and found themselves constantly chasing the games. Despite a couple of early Indian penalty corners, the South Africans were dialed in on defense and held their opponents out before taking an early lead. After a poor challenge by the Indians, Quanita Bobbs was called on to fire home a penalty stroke and give the hosts their first lead of the tournament.
The Indians showed their class and managed to level not long before the half time break. The penalty corner had been dangerous for the visitors throughout the series, and they used it again when Phalke Vaishnavi Vithal restored parity.
Early in the second half the South Africans earned their second lead of the tournament. Great work from Kristen Paton and Bianca Wood set up Tarryn Lombard who was in the right place at the right time to tap home to the delight of the UCT crowd.
The South Africans, putting in their best performance of the series and shining a light on the progress that is starting to be made will be disappointed that they concede another penalty corner to level, but they defended superbly after that to hold on for a well-deserved draw.