Under 200 will do for Proteas

2015-01-04 22:00
AB de Villiers (AFP)

Cape Town - Proteas batsman AB de Villiers says his side would be comfortable chasing anything under 200 to win, as the West Indies reached 88 for two in the second innings, and trailed by just four runs, at the close of play on day three of the third Test at Newlands in Cape Town on Sunday.

As it happened: SA v West Indies, Day 3

De Villiers who notched up his 21st Test century with a knock of 148 in South Africa's 421 all out in the first innings, and was convinced a result was still possible.

"I'd think anything over 200 would be difficult to chase, but if they do get more than that we're still not out of it with the quality batsman we have," said De Villiers.

"There's more than enough time left to get a result over the next two days."

In total, De Villiers faced 194 balls in his knock, striking 15 fours and a six, but there were no substantial partnerships down the order as South Africa lost their last five wickets for 37 runs.

Part of the reason the tail was unable to wag for the Proteas were the run-outs of Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn both for ducks.

"Personally I would've liked us to get a few more runs, there were just too many run-outs. That's because on this pitch it's still alright if you get in, but still there are some cracks and you never feel like you're 100 percent in. So it's important to put big partnerships on the board."

At the close of play, Leon Johnson on 37 and Marlon Samuels on 26 were at the crease for the West Indies in an unbroken third wicket stand of 61 runs from 121 balls.

West Indies team manager Richie Richardson said his team were in a position of strength heading into day four.

"They're (South Africa) going to have bat last and if two of our batsmen get centuries we'll be looking at a very interesting match," said Richardson.

"A number of our batsman are getting starts, we just have to work on getting them to big hundreds."

The second innings, however, did not start well for the West Indies as both openers were back in the changeroom with the score on 27. First to depart was Devon Smith for seven caught behind off the bowling of Morne Morkel.

It was then the turn of Simon Harmer to strike in his first over in the attack. Kraigg Brathwaite was outdone by the spin and bounce Harmer produced out the rough as the ball hit the off-stump to remove the batsman for 16.

Before tea, De Villiers led South Africa to a total beyond the 400 mark.

De Villiers started the session 16 short of his ton, but once he crossed the milestone he began finding the boundary with ease.

The 30-year-old was eventually dismissed, holing out to Shannon Gabriel at long-on off the bowling of Samuels.

Together with Stiaan van Zyl after lunch, the pair put on 96 runs off 131 balls for the sixth wicket to surge ahead of the West Indies total of 329 all out in the first innings.

Van Zyl was out lbw to Samuels for 33 from 63 balls, with three fours to his name.

In morning play, the first wicket to fall was that of captain Hashim Amla for 63. The West Indies had the ball changed after it had become miss-shaped, and Jason Holder got the delivery to straighten off a good length as Amla edged through to wicketkeeper captain Denesh Ramdin.

The breakthrough brought an end to a 97 run partnership from 160 balls between Amla and De Villiers for the fourth wicket.

Amla faced 150 balls in his innings, striking seven fours before he left the scene with South Africa on 254 for four.

Temba Bavuma joined De Villiers in the middle, and looked good for his 15 before he was out attempting to leave a Gabriel delivery. Bavuma was in two minds whether to play or leave the ball, and the delivery ricocheted off his bat into the stumps.

Read more on:    west indies  |  proteas  |  ab de villiers  |  cricket

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