Proteas can upset the odds

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Faf du Plessis, pictured, and AB de Villiers put together an unbroken partnership of 134, to help South Africa to 331 for four at tea. Photo by Duif du Toit

Johannesburg – Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers put together an unbroken partnership of 134 in a wicketless session, to help South Africa to 331 for four at tea, on day five of the first Test at the Wanderers, in Johannesburg, on Sunday.

South Africa still required 127 to win, chasing a world-record 458 runs required for victory.

Starting the day with a draw looking like the best the Proteas could have hoped for, it took a period of resolute defence from the batsmen to wear down the new ball which was taken just four overs into the afternoon session.

After both Du Plessis and De Villiers reached their half centuries, they began to play more attacking shots and running quick singles. Du Plessis, in particular, displayed good character as he battled a sore right hand.

Du Plessis was not out on 88 and De Villiers 72 at tea.

Earlier, having looked composed and playing a patient innings the previous day, Alviro Petersen looked scratchy and out of sorts when he resumed his innings on 76. He was almost out off the first delivery of the day, slashing hard at a ball wide enough to leave from Mohammed Shami.

After facing a further thirteen balls without scoring, Petersen's innings came to an end when he played on to Shami.

The wicket brought Jacques Kallis to the middle and he survived an lbw shout off his first ball, avoiding a pair. Shami bowled the ball full and Kallis played and missed, but the delivery had pitched just outside leg and the umpire gave it not out.

Kallis looked to be back to his imperious best, scoring at nearly a run-a-ball, striking six fours for his 34 until he was adjudged lbw to Zaheer Khan handing the Indian bowler his 300th Test wicket. – Sapa

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