• Proteas in full survival mode

    December 6, 2015
    Hashim Amla

    Three sessions, or roughly 90 overs, stand between South Africa and an unlikely draw in the fourth Test against India in New Delhi.

    It still seems unlikely that they will be able to survive a full day of cricket, but at 72-2, they still have eight wickets in hand.

    The good news is their two best batsmen, Hashim Amla (23 not out) and AB de Villiers (11 not out), are batting together. The bad news is the pitch is only getting tougher to bat on and 90 overs seem very far away.

    Only 32 runs was scored in 33 overs in the final session on Sunday at a run-rate of 0.97.

    It took De Villiers more than 30 deliveries to get off the mark while Amla faced 46 balls before making his first run. The ultra-defensive approach has worked so far

    The target India set of 481 is redundant as the Proteas are only looking to survive long enough to draw the game and walk away from the series with some pride.

    Ravi Ashwin has taken the only two wickets so far but all the bowlers have looked threatening and the feeling remains that a wicket can fall at any stage.

    If South Africa are to pull off a remarkable save and bat out day five, Amla and De Villiers will have to bat through at least the first session on Monday. The longer they stay together the better chance South Africa have of pulling off a draw from the jaws of defeat.

    Temba Bavuma (34) was the only wicket that fell in the final session. He was bowled for the second time in this match when Ashwin got one to straighten after drifting into the right-hander and missing the outside edge to crash into off-stump.

    Before that he and Amla had done extremely well to bat 38 overs without losing a wicket after Dean Elgar fell just before lunch.

    India declared their second innings 20 minutes before lunch on 267-5 as Virat Kohli waited for Ajinkya Rahane to reach his sixth Test hundred.

    It was Rahane’s second century of the Test match, following 127 in India’s first innings. Kohli himself was looking to score his first hundred of the series, but he fell for 88 when Kyle Abbott trapped him lbw.

    Kohli and Rahane shared a 154-run partnership, the biggest of the series so far and South Africa will need something similar if they want any chance of batting out the rest of the Test.

    Rahane also shared a 55-run partnership with Wriddhiman Saha (23) which pushed India’s lead to 480.

    Picture: BCCI

    Scorecard

     



    You may also like