Nagpur - South African captain Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis defied India's
spinners to delay the hosts' march towards a series-winning victory in
the third Test in Nagpur on Friday.
The Proteas, who resumed at
32-2 chasing a target of 310, went to lunch on the third day at 105-4 in
their second innings on a dusty, deteriorating pitch at the VCA
Amla and Du Plessis batted for more than an hour to put
on an unbroken stand of 47 for the fifth wicket after India had grabbed
two early wickets to make it 58-4.
Amla, whose highest score in
the series is 43, negotiated 93 deliveries to return unbeaten on 28. Du
Plessis was on 23, which included a six off Ravindra Jadeja.
South Africa will return after lunch still 205 runs away from levelling the four-match series on a difficult batting wicket.
target of more than 300 runs has been chased successfully just once on
Indian soil - by the home team who made 387-4 to defeat England in
Chennai in 2008.
Prolific off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin struck
in the day's fourth over when left-hander Dean Elgar edged a ball off
the pad to Cheteshwar Pujara at silly-point after making 18.
Villiers, the world's top-ranked Test and one-day batsman, made nine
during an uncomfortable 21-ball stay when he was deceived by a straight
ball from Ashwin and was trapped in front of the wicket.
the first Test in Mohali by 108 runs, while the second in Bangalore was
washed out by rain after the opening day's play.
The fourth and final Test will be played at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground in New Delhi from December 3.