Australia are within touching distance of a victory against South Africa in the Adelaide Test as the visitors, having to chase in excess of 400, were reduced to 77 for four at close of play on Day Four.
Having set a target of 430 for the visitors, Australian bowlers were right on the money as they rocked the South African top-order, picking up four wickets for just 45 runs.
First to fall was Greame Smith. Ben Hilfenhaus came around the wicket and bowled one that was angled into him and had a hint of away movement and Smith ended up edging to Ricky Ponting at second slip.
Off-break bowler Nathan Lyon then made the second and probably the most important breakthrough for the home side when he sent Hashim Amla back into the pavilion. Lyon tossed one up and Amla went for a drive, edging it to Clarke at first slip.
Number four batsman Jacques Rudolph survived an lbw appeal thanks to DRS but just eight overs later he departed, thanks to a good low catch by Ed Cowan at short leg. Lyon tossed one up from around the wicket and Rudolph closed the face of his bat but the ball took the edge and Cowan did well to get his hands under the ball. The umpires checked with the TV umpires if the catch was clean and then ruled Rudolph out.
Wicket keeper AB de Villiers and debutant Faf du Plessis shifted to survival mode and began to pull their side out of a tricky situation. The duo scored at snail's pace, putting on 32 runs in 29 overs and frustrating the tiring Australian bowlers. De Villiers and Faf du Plessis took South Africa to 77 for four at the end of fourth day's play.
Brief Scores: Australia 550 and 269 for 8 dec. (Michael Hussey 54, David Warner 41; Rory Klienveldt 3 for 65) lead South Africa 338 and 77 for 4 (Faf du Plessis 19, AB de Villiers 12; Nathan Lyon 2 for 15 ) by 353 runs.
First Published: November 25, 2012, 12:45 pm