By BV Swagath
Hosts Australia are expected to go 1-0 up at the Adelaide Oval following a clinical performance on the penultimate day of the Second Test. Leaving South Africa with an improbable target of 430, the Aussies have got taken four wickets for 77 despite not having the services of the injured fast bowler James Pattinson.
There was just a bit of pressure at the start of the morning session on Day 4 on the Aussies as they were at 111 for 5 in their second innings with the lead at 273. Although Skipper Michael Clarke got out for 38, his overnight partner Michael Hussey went onto score a crucial 54 which ensured that the Proteas were batted out of the contest completely. The homeside declared its second innings at 267 for 8 leaving SA a torrid time to bat before Tea.
In the short passage before Tea, South Africa lost the key wickets of Skipper Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla cheaply. At the start of the final session, the visitors were rocked by a double blow with Jacques Rudolph and Alviro Petersen falling in quick succession to reduce the score to 45 for 4.
The Aussies couldn’t make further inroads before stumps as they ran into a stubborn partnership between AB de Villiers and debutant Faf du Plessis. It was old traditional Test Cricket at the Adelaide Oval as the pair kept on blocking mostly to take South Africa to Stumps at 77 for 4 in as many as 50 overs! AB de Villiers may be the best strokemaker in the world but today he was content batting out 101 balls to score only 12*! Faf du Plessis was slightly better scoring 19* from 74 balls.
For the Aussies, off-spinner Nathan Lyon lifted his game to chip in with two wickets. The Proteas have no chance of winning the game but they can battle it out for a draw. AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and the injured Jacques Kallis cannot be ruled out from playing a long innings tomorrow to help SA pull off a miracle.