South Africa extend lead to 163 runs (Tea report)

Durban, Dec 29: South Africa put on a century-plus stand in the second session of Day 4 despite two rain delays to take their first innings total to 497/8 in the second and final cricket Test against India at Kingsmead here Sunday.

Rain delayed the start after lunch and after play resumed, the hosts extended their lead to 163 runs with Faf du Plessis (41 not out) and Robin Peterson (61) putting on a 110-run eighth-wicket partnership before the latter skied a Zaheer Khan delivery to mid off and was caught by Murali Vijay.

Right then the skies opened up once more and the covers were called on. A little later, and with continuing rain, Australian umpires Steve Davis, standing in his 50th Test, and Rod Tucker called for tea.

Du Plessis and Peterson scored their runs pretty quickly, getting 102 runs in the 24.1 overs they batted in the second session. All rounder du Plessis held the innings together while Peterson was the aggressor, notching up his third half-century in Test cricket.

Peterson’s 52-ball whirlwind innings constituted nine boundaries and a six while du Plessis hit four boundaries in his patient knock.

Earlier in the morning session, the hosts took a 61-run first innings lead as they reached 395/7 at lunch. Resuming the day at 299/5, South Africa put on 96 runs in 35.1 overs at a run rate of 2.73 in the morning. However, they lost veteran Jacques Kallis (115) and Dale Steyn (44) during the period.

Playing in his last match, Kallis was given a guard of honour by the Indian cricketers when he came out to bat with Steyn. Kallis showed all his experience to notch up his 45th century in possibly his last innings of his Test career.

The right-handed veteran was pure class as he put on an 86-run sixth wicket partnership with Steyn and hit 13 boundaries in the process. In the process, he bettered Rahul Dravid’s total of 13,288 to emerge as the third-highest scorer in Test cricket at 13,289, behind Sachin Tendulkar (15,921) and Ricky Ponting (13,378).

However, while attempting a sweep off spinner Ravindra Jadega, he top edged a delivery which was safely pouched by Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the wicket. Kingsmead rose to a standing ovation and Kallis saluted the crowd by raising his bat and soaked in the applause.

In the process, left armer Jadeja took his second five-wicket haul of his career.

Three runs later, Steyn also departed after playing a stoic innings which included seven boundaries. He edged a Zaheer delivery and was also picked up by Indian skipper Dhoni behind the stumps.

IANS