Proteas push for epic draw

December 7, 2015
AB de Villiers was hit on the gloves a few times

With one session left in the series, it seems the only thing standing between India and victory in Delhi is AB de Villiers.

India won’t feel safe until they have his wicket because it’s difficult to see South Africa drawing this game without De Villiers at the crease. There is also the issue of the light. Bad light has stopped play a few times in this game and it is something India will need to remember.

De Villiers has been a mountain while batting in this innings, exhibiting excellent patience, application and skill while taking shots to the body as he tries to save his country from a 3-0 series victory.

He will continue after tea on 43 from 296 balls together with Dane Vilas (13), who has managed to hang round for some much-needed support.

The fact the Proteas have survived this long is remarkable, but it remains impossible to predict what will happen in the final session. The sense is, as long as De Villiers is there, South Africa will have a chance.

Faf du Plessis (10 off 97) battled valiantly with De Villiers as they shared a 35-run partnership off 211 balls. De Villiers and Hashim Amla’s 27-run partnership came off 253 deliveries.

Du Plessis was trapped lbw by Ravindra Jadeja midway through the session, which brought out JP Duminy to bat with De Villiers.

He didn’t last long, though, as Ravi Ashwin trapped him lbw for a duck. He faced 12 balls. India’s tails were up, but Vilas has done well to survive until tea.

Amla’s innings was ended by Jadeja 12 overs into the day when he bowled the captain with a delivery that missed the outside edge and clipped off-stump.

Amla (25 off 244) spent 288 minutes at the crease, 12 short of five hours. Even though he could have played more forward, it was a very good delivery that beat him.

India immediately took the second new ball when it became available after 80 overs. Virat Kohli entrusted his spinners Ashwin and Jadeja to get a breakthrough rather than his seamers and it took five overs for Jadeja to get Amla.

Du Plessis took 53 deliveries to get off the mark which is a record for a South African batsman.Picture: BCCI

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