Faf unmovable as Proteas edge further ahead

2018-01-16 15:00
Faf du Plessis (Gallo)

Centurion – South Africa scored just 57 runs in 27 middle session overs on Day 4 of the second Test against India at Centurion.

It certainly wasn’t the most eye-catching two hours and 15 minutes of cricket, but it was one of the most important periods in the game.

With just four sessions remaining, this Test could still go either way and what happens between now and the end of Tuesday is crucial.

The Proteas are currently 230/7 and 258 runs ahead, with a patient Faf du Plessis (37*) and Kagiso Rabada (0*) at the wicket.

As things stand, India will have to score the highest ever fourth-innings total to win a Test at Centurion.

The Proteas had lost three quick wickets in the morning session - including that of powerhouse AB de Villiers (80) - and they resumed after lunch on 173/5.

At that stage, the game was very much in the balance and the two South Africans made it clear that not losing wickets was the immediate priority.

Both Du Plessis and Vernon Philander were incredibly cautious and while runs were hard to come by, so too were opportunities.

India, though, kept plugging away and as long as the scoreboard wasn’t being overly troubled, they would have felt that they were still in it.

Eventually, the visitors got their breakthrough when Philander completely mis-timed a pull off Ishant Sharma.

The ball looped to Murali Vijay at mid-wicket, who took a comfortable catch and brought an end to a sixth-wicket partnership that had lasted 156 balls and contributed 46 valuable runs.

Keshav Maharaj (6) came and went, caught behind off Sharma, but still Du Plessis was watchful, not forcing anything.

By the time Du Plessis had faced 100 balls, he had scored just 26 runs. 

Read more on:    proteas  |  mohammed shami  |  pretoria  |  cricket

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