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South Africa in command at tea on Day 5 of 1st Test against India

South Africa are in a position to win this game after a sterling partnership from AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis © AFP
South Africa are in a position to win this game after a sterling partnership from AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis © AFP

By Nishad Pai Vaidya


Dec 22, 2013


South Africa went into tea on Day Five of the first Test against India in a good position to win the game. Chasing 458 to win, they are only 127 runs away with AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis in total command of proceedings. They went into tea at 331 for four, with this partnership putting up 134.


Starting the session with 222 runs needed, South Africa continued to play very positively. Both batsmen dispatched the bad deliveries and left the widish deliveries. India rushed through the first six overs after lunch as the new ball was in the horizon. One Mohammed Shami and Zaheer Khan started off with the new ball, they were getting movement and there was some inconsistent bounce. Both de Villiers and du Plessis had deliveries that climbed on them and the edges went over the slip cordon and landed in no man’s land.


As the session progressed, du Plessis and de Villiers looked more and more in control. Du Plessis got to his fifty by pulling Shami through  square-leg on and later de Villiers also got to his mark in much quicker time. The gap between gully and third-slip so many runs leak as the edges went along the ground and into the boundaries. However, they were largely in control and  essayed good strokes to the boundary.


There weren’t too many chances as such although a direct hit was missed with du Plessis diving for his life. A few leading edges also fell short of the fielders. De Villiers and du Plessis kept adding the singles to the South African tally and found it easier as the field spread a touch.


If they go on to achieve the victory, it would be a historic win as it would be the highest run-chase in a fourth innings of a Test match.


Brief scores:


India 280 (Virat Kohli 119, Ajinkya Rahane 47; Vernon Philander 4 for 61, Morne Morkel 3 for 34) and 421 (Cheteshwar Pujara 153, Virat Kohli 96; Vernon Philander 3 for 68, Jacques Kallis 3 for 68, JP Duminy 2 for 87) lead South Africa  244 (Graeme Smith 68, Vernon Philander 59; Zaheer Khan 4 for 88, Ishant Sharma 4 for 79, Mohammed Shami 2 for 48) and 331 for 4 (Alviro Petersen 76, Faf du Plessis 88, AB de Villiers 72; Zaheer Khan 1 for 61, Mohammed Shami 2 for 58) by 126 runs.


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